June 13, 2004

Fraudida: Touchscreen voting machines in 11 counties have a software flaw that could make manual recounts impossible in November's presidential election, state officials said.

Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mekong Delta) is ahead in
Fraudida. Be vigilant, be vocal, be vociferous. This
election is perhaps our last hope, for a long time, to
save the Republic...

Associated Press: Touchscreen voting machines in 11
counties have a software flaw that could make manual
recounts impossible in November's presidential
election, state officials said. A spokeswoman for the
secretary of state called the problems "minor
technical hiccups" that can be resolved, but critics
allege voting officials wrongly certified a voting
system they knew had a bug.

Thwart the Theft of a Second Presidential Election,
Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)


http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040612/ap_on_el_pr/florida_voting_machines_1

Fla. Voting Machines Have Recount Flaw

1 hour, 54 minutes ago

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Touchscreen voting machines in 11 counties have a software flaw that could make manual recounts impossible in November's presidential election, state officials said.

A spokeswoman for the secretary of state called the
problems "minor technical hiccups" that can be
resolved, but critics allege voting officials wrongly
certified a voting system they knew had a bug.

The electronic voting machines are a response to
Florida's 2000 presidential election fiasco, where
thousands of punchcard ballots were improperly marked.
But the new machines have brought concerns that errors
could go unchecked without paper records of the
electronic voting.


The machines, made by Election Systems & Software of
Omaha, Neb., fail to provide a consistent electronic
"event log" of voting activity when asked to reproduce
what happened during the election, state officials
said.


Officials with the company and the state Division of
Elections said they believe they can fix the problem
by linking the voting equipment with laptop computers.
Florida's two largest counties Miami-Dade and
Broward are among those affected by the flaws.


Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla., has asked state Attorney
General Charlie Crist to investigate whether the head
of the state elections division lied under oath when
he denied knowing of the computer problem before
reading about it in the media. A spokeswoman for Crist
said he was reviewing the request.


The elections chief, Ed Kast, abruptly resigned
Monday, saying he wanted a change of pace.


During a May 17 deposition for a lawsuit Wexler filed
seeking to require a paper trail for state voting
machines, Kast said he had recently heard of the
problem only days earlier. But in a letter to Crist,
Wexler said the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition,
a citizens' group, notified Kast and Secretary of
State Glenda Hood of the glitch in March.


Hood blamed Miami-Dade Supervisor of Elections
Constance Kaplan for the delay, telling Kaplan in a
May 13 letter she should have notified state officials
when she learned of the problem in June 2003.


Nonetheless, state and county election officials
insist the problem can be resolved in the five months
before the November election.


"These are minor technical hiccups that happen," said
Hood spokeswoman Nicole DeLara. "No votes are lost, or
could be lost."


Wexler and coalition members said they want to know
how the state can be sure that glitches will not
prevent elections officials from even detecting
computer malfunctions.


"How do you know that any votes were lost if your
audit is wrong?" asked Lida Rodriguez-Taseff,
chairwoman of the Miami-Dade coalition.


State officials say there is no need for recounts, or
an audit trail, with the touchscreen system because it
was designed to prevent people from voting in the same
race more than once an overvote and provide
multiple alerts to voters to warn them when they are
skipping a race an undervote.


They emphasize that the "glitch" in the touchscreen
machines occurs when the audit is done after the
election, not when the tally sheet is printed in each
precinct when polls close.

Posted by richard at June 13, 2004 12:13 PM