Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 09/15/04)

Rockville, Maryland. September, 2004. Diebold
County officials panic when election judge threatens to diagnose machine malfunction.

The Montgomery County election board allowed Stan Boyd, a local election judge, to use a Diebold Accuvote TS for demo purposes at a Rockville festival. But after the machine registered Senator Barbara Mikulski's vote inaccurately, Mr. Boyd decided to keep the machine long enough to have an expert test the machine to diagnose the problem. County officials have filed a court order to force Mr. Boyd to return the machine.

Boyd, a 63-year-old retired high school teacher from White Oak, said he wasn't trying to hold the machine hostage. He said his purpose was to search out any problems with the voting system that Maryland residents will use in the upcoming election.

"The whole purpose is to find out what things can be fixed -- and before the elections -- so they are trustworthy," he said after the hearing. ...

After news reports Monday of Mikulski's problem, Boyd said county elections officials contacted him and he agreed to return the machine that day. But after CBS asked him if it could test the machine, he told the county he planned to keep the machine until Thursday, as originally planned.

County officials said they then contacted Boyd at least nine times by phone in an effort to get him to return the machine; Boyd said they even showed up at his house.*

* Board seeks to force return of voting machine. Baltimore Sun. September 14, 2004. By Stephen Manning.

See: Diebold in the News

The greater the ignorance,
the greater the dogmatism.
~ William Osler