Archive for voting machines

VIDEO, La Cucaracha: "I voted! Or at least I think I did..." PA voting machine flips from Obama to Romney.

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A major advantage of having a Twitter pal like the wonderful Lalo Alcaraz (@LaloAlcaraz) is that he generously shares his work with us.

Here’s today’s La Cucaracha:

Perfect. Especially considering this:

UPDATE: After MSNBC reported the machine was taken out of service, Mother Jones has this: Romney-Loving Voting Machine "Recalibrated" and Back Online

Problems? Please CALL ELECTION PROTECTION AT 1-866-OUR VOTE or 1-866-VE-Y-VOTA.

Published on Nov 6, 2012 by , who added this on Reddit: EDIT2: I have been contacted by NBC Universal and BBC News.

My wife and I went to the voting booths this morning before work. There were 4 older ladies running the show and 3 voting booths that are similar to a science fair project in how they fold up. They had an oval VOTE logo on top center and a cartridge slot on the left that the volunteers used to start your ballot.

I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney's name and started tapping very closely together to find the 'active areas'. From the top of Romney's button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama's name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein's button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.

I asked the voters on either side of me if they had any problems and they reported they did not. I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said "It's nothing to worry about, everything will be OK." and went back to what she was doing. I then recorded this video.

There is a lot of speculation that the footage is edited. I'm not a video guy, but if it's possible to prove whether a video has been altered or not, I will GLADLY provide the raw footage to anyone who is willing to do so. The jumping frames are a result of the shitty camera app on my Android phone, nothing more.

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VIDEO: Voting machines, hackers, and Election 2012

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Brad Friedman tweeted this:

 

That link will take you to this:

"Optical scan systems are equally vulnerable."

"Touch screen systems are... vulnerable to hackers..."

Nobody checks "to make sure any of these computers got it right after the election."

"These systems are a threat from outside and inside, which is why I've been calling for some time for paper ballots..."

"There is ZERO transparency in these systems... Some have dubious ownership to say the least."

"Mitt Romney's son... Bain... have now taken over ... the third largest voting machine company in the country...

"... 100% untransparent to the citizenry. They have privatized our election."

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Video- North Carolina voters say ballot cast for Romney came up Obama on machine

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Just another example of our severely flawed voting system. Ugh.

GREENSBORO, N.C. –The presidential election is just around the corner and voting issues have already become a problem in Guilford County.

On Monday, several voters complained that their electronic ballot machine cast the wrong vote. All the complaints were made by people who voted at the Bur-Mil Park polling location.

One of the voters, Sher Coromalis, says she cast her ballot for Governor Mitt Romney, but every time she entered her vote the machine defaulted to President Obama.

“I was so upset that this could happen,” said Coromalis.

Guilford County Board of Elections Director George Gilbert says the problem arises every election. It can be resolved after the machine is re-calibrated by poll workers.

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Voting machines in FL, WI, NY, OH overheat, mistally 30-70% of votes

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I'm constantly ranting about voter suppression (Voter I.D. laws and other restrictions on registration included), hatred of President Obama, and super PAC money interfering with Democratic wins in the November elections. And with good reason. Disenfranchisement alone can prevent up to 5 million voters from casting ballots.

I've also mentioned major, and valid, concerns about flawed, easily hackable, or disastrously inaccurate voting machines, as in my post of a few weeks ago, Florida optical-scanners declared the incorrect “winners” of elections.

Our friend Brad Friedman at The BRAD BLOG, the go-to source for all things election fraud, corruption, voter fraud, and voting machine disasters, has some more disturbing news for us. Here are a few excerpts, but please follow the link... these few snippets don't come close to doing his detailed reporting justice:

New paper ballot optical-scan computer tabulator systems used to tally millions of votes in New York --- as well as "swing states" such as Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin --- do not tally votes correctly. That stunning admission comes courtesy of a new report released by the private company which manufactures, sells, services and programs the systems which are now believed to have mistallied tens of thousands of ballots in New York in 2010.

The votes of more than ten million voters could be affected by a newly revealed failure in the voting systems set for use in those four states in this year's Presidential election, and in more than 50 different jurisdictions in Wisconsin during next month's historic recall elections.

Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S), the largest e-voting machine company in the U.S. and the maker of the paper ballot op-scan tally systems in question, have confirmed that their systems may overheat when used over several hours (for example, during an election!), and that they then may mistally and/or incorrectly discard anywhere from 30% to 70% of votes scanned by the machines. [...]

The Sequoia WinEDS system is currently in use in 285 jurisdictions in 17 states, where it's set to tally the votes --- either accurately or inaccurately --- for some 25 million registered voters this year in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

After the Sequoia system failures came to light in Palm Beach County --- along with Dominion/Sequoia's attempts at covering them up --- Susan Bucher, their Supervisor of Elections, told The BRAD BLOG that she'd be delighted to switch to a different system made by a different manufacturer, "but they all have similar problems, as I've come to understand it."

Bucher understands it correctly.

Machines like these can potentially throw future elections. As Brad points out, "publicly hand-counting hand-marked paper ballots on Election Night, at the precinct" can restore confidence and democracy simultaneously.

It would take a lot longer, (see below) but at least we'd have a tangible paper trail, the ability to recount votes, and a real person (or people) to track down should there be any suspicion of wrongdoing. That's okay, we can wait.

If you're in favor of going back to that method, raise your hand. Better yet, mark a paper ballot.

More here.

Correction: Brad tells me that's not necessarily so. In New Hampshire, hand count towns were often done before Diebold towns. Thank you, Brad!

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Florida optical-scanners declared the incorrect "winners" of elections

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Our friend Brad Friedman at BradBlog is the go-to source for all things election fraud, corruption, voter fraud, and voting machine disasters. And he has a doozy for us centered around guess where? That's right, Florida. He starts out by reminding us that, jaw-droppingly, we've never learned our lesson about accurate vote counting and accountability:

[E]lection officials and media simply presume that optically-scanned ballots have been correctly tallied on Election Night because, after all, "computers are more reliable than human beings", as they like to say, and any result, apparently, is far more important than an accurate result reflecting the actual will of the voters.

He goes on to inform us that Florida doesn't allow people to examine paper ballots after they've gone through the computer system, to check for accuracy. And Florida requires that results be certified six days after the election, which means, as he says, they can't be canvassed by officials for any type of accuracy.

The BRAD BLOG has warned against optical-scanners for a long time now, and for good reason, after what has now happened in Palm Beach County, Florida.

Via the Palm Beach Post:

The supplier of Palm Beach County's voting and tabulating equipment says a software "shortcoming" led to votes being assigned to the wrong candidates and the elections office declaring the wrong winners in two recent Wellington council races.

County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher, who insisted a computer glitch rather than human error was to blame for the fiasco, claimed vindication after Dominion Voting Systems released its statement. [...]

Unbeknownst to elections officials, the vote totals for the mayor's race ended up being reported and later certified as the results of the Seat 1 race. The Seat 1 vote totals were certified as the Seat 4 results and the Seat 4 vote totals were certified as the mayoral results.

Or as I like to call it, "Who's On First?"

Brad gives us one more "read it and weep" moment:

But the problem in Palm Beach this time out was not the fault of Palm Beach. It was the fault of the same computerized optical-scan systems used all over the country. The systems which will once again be used this November, and which have been used throughout the primary cycle. The systems which failed in Palm Beach were made by Sequoia Voting Systems, which was recently purchased --- along with Diebold's Election Division --- by a private Canadian company named Dominion Voting.

Please read his whole post here. The Brad Blog is worth bookmarking.

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"Whitey" on the ballot in some black districts

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Yikes. Double yikes.

File under, "Some mistakes are hard to rectify":

The last name of Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney is misspelled as "Whitey" on electronic-voting machines in nearly two dozen wards -- about half in predominantly African-American areas -- and election officials said Wednesday the problem cannot be corrected by Election Day.

Cringe Factor: Off the charts.

Too bad he can't simply use Wite-Out. Scratch that. Poor suggestion, especially under the circumstances.

The question is, how will voters react? And whose machines are they, I wonder...?

[Jim Allen, spokesman for the Chicago Board of Elections] said there is not adequate time to reprogram and test machines before Nov. 2. He predicted about 90 percent of the ballots cast that day will be on paper ballots, where Whitney's name is spelled properly.

That's all well and good, but there's that 10% that he'll still have to worry about. That's nothing to sneeze at.

Whitney is considering legal action.

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Entire inventory of electronic voting machines destroyed in fire

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Here's an interesting little tidbit from Taegan:

The Houston Chronicle reports the entire inventory of electronic voting machines in Harris County, TX were destroyed in a fire. Voters are now being asked "to cast their ballots early to help the county cope with a possible shortage of equipment on election day."

What makes this most interesting is that Bill White (D), who is running a close race against Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), is from Harris County.

Interesting...or suspect?

They should burn all electronic voting machines anyway. What's so hard about putting a big X in black ink on a piece of paper, and then getting people to count them?

Oh that's right, I nearly forgot. It's not as easy to conduct election fraud that way.

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