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Voting news articles are provided here for research and educational purposes only. We do not review each article in its entirety prior to its posting. Content in the articles themselves and on other websites to which they link may express opinions that are not those of VotersUnite!

Wed, 24 Sep 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Broward considers dumping $17 million in touch voting machines
Less than two years after spending $17 million to replace Broward County's election system, county commissioners expressed growing apprehension Tuesday about electronic voting and decided to rethink what they had done. Commissioners ordered their staff to explore retrofitting the new touch-screen voting machines to print copies of each ballot or ditching the machinery in favor of paper ballots read by optical scanners. They want the study completed in the next couple of months so they can make any changes before next year's presidential elections. [...] "There is no confidence in the equipment and no confidence that it will work properly," Commissioner John Rodstrom said. "We were rushed into making a decision, and now we need to figure out a better way because there is no way to go back and recount. We need to have integrity in our voting system."


Wed, 24 Sep 2003 22:08:00 EDT    Story Here  Archive
Published:Wednesday, September 24, 2003
Voting system found to have fraud risk
An independent review of Maryland's proposed touch-screen voting system released Wednesday found a "high risk of compromise" by malicious outsiders who might want to tamper with election results. [...] The review released Wednesday paints a less-than-flattering picture of how an election would have been run in Maryland had the Hopkins study not drawn attention to problems. Several risks were deemed serious. While some changes were required of Diebold, many more are to be made by the State Board of Elections. The study found problems not only with the technology behind the electronic machines, but in policies and procedures used by state and local election boards.


Thu, 18 Sep 2003 02:00:00 PDT    Story Here  Archive
Published:Thursday, September 18, 2003
E-Voting Audit Ready for Public
A security audit ordered by Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich on Diebold Election Systems' touch-screen voting machines is complete, and a version of it is ready for public consumption. [...] A redacted version of the report, with information useful to malicious crackers taken out, will be available on the state's website Friday or early next week.


Wed, 17 Sep 2003 12:00:00 PST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Recall could have silver lining if verifiable voting is a winner
Nothing is more important to our trust in democracy than a verifiable ballot. Yet we're rushing headlong toward a system where we can't be sure that our votes are being counted accurately or at all, or that elections aren't being invisibly rigged. This is unacceptable. Let's use the delay, assuming it happens, to make these electronic machines believable. There's a lot at stake.


Wed, 17 Sep 2003 12:00:00 PST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Wednesday, September 17, 2003
Critics fear electronic systems are no better than punch cards
While punch-card machines may allow "overvoting" errors, in which extra broken chads void a ballot, their electronic counterparts can be prone to other problems, including hacking, electronic malfunctions, and the fact that they leave no paper trail that can be used during a recount. "It infuriates me that we are experimenting with paperless transactions in the one election that matters most," said Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation, which studies voting technology.


Tue, 16 Sep 2003 12:00:00 PST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Voting expert warned of hanging chads long ago
Rebecca Mercuri, a Harvard University voting expert, warns that some alternatives to punch card ballots can be just as bad. She points to the dangers of embracing new and often expensive computer technology, which provide no paper record if there is a malfunction. "It's a big bamboozling of the American public saying that we are going to fix all of this with computers," Mercuri said. "Think about how long your laptop lasts. All this new junk we are buying has a 10 to 15 year life span at best."


Tue, 16 Sep 2003 12:00:00 PST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Tuesday, September 16, 2003
Counties pushing punch cards into extinction
"I'm deeply concerned about the rush to change voting systems," said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation, a nonpartisan group focusing on voting technology. "I'm frustrated that the ACLU is doing everything to ban the (punch-card) systems. They're not bad systems if they're used properly."


Mon, 15 Sep 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Monday, September 15, 2003
High-Tech Voting
When the voter casts a ballot on a touch screen, they see their choices on the screen, but they don't know that the machine actually recorded their votes the way the voter intended, and if you want to give voters that bit of confidence, you need to have the machine generate a paper backup of the voter's ballot that the voter has the right to inspect before leaving the polls.


Sun, 14 Sep 2003 12:00:00 CDT    Story Here  Archive
Published:Sunday, September 14, 2003
Many in politics raise red flags on rush toward electronic voting systems
The National Organization for Women in Arkansas is trying to persuade Secretary of State Charlie Daniels to hold off purchasing touch-screen electronic voting machines until the new machines are proved trustworthy. "I love computers," said Lisa Burks of Hot Springs, vice president of legislation for Arkansas NOW and president of NOW's Hot Springs chapter. "I'm not a technophobe." But, she adds, "I have a problem with my vote being compromised and unsecured and lost or altered -- because it can happen, and it all has." Robert L. Reed of Dennard, chairman of the Arkansas Libertarian Party, says he agrees with what NOW is trying to do. "Right now, nobody has proved to my satisfaction that those things are reliable or consistent."


Fri, 12 Sep 2003 12:00:00 EDT    Story Here  Archive
Published:Friday, September 12, 2003
Miami-Dade commissioners decide against refitting county's voting machines
County commissioners on Thursday decided against backing a resolution that would have required election officials to equip Miami-Dade's 7,200 iVotronic machines -- which cost taxpayers $24.5 million -- with equipment that would record a paper printout of all votes. Instead, the commission unanimously voted to ask county staff to study the idea and present them with a proposal within four months. [...] Election Reform Coalition members said that providing a printout of cast votes would give election officials data to fall back on in the event the computers fail. It would also restore integrity into the elections process, they said. "There are no election safeguards," McCrea said. "We're not ready for paperless voting. We're not ready to trust it."


Wed, 10 Sep 2003 12:00:00 EDT    Story Here  Archive
Published:Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Voting machines in Dade may get printed backup
When South Florida voters cast ballots on an electronic voting machine, they are relying on technology -- and accepting on good faith -- that their votes were registered. But for some voters, there is reason to doubt, particularly when they think of last year's disastrous primary, when thousands of votes went uncounted. That's why Miami-Dade County commissioners will consider a measure Thursday that would order the refit of the county's 7,200 iVotronic machines with software and equipment that produces a paper printout of all votes.


Wed, 10 Sep 2003 12:00:00 CDT    Story Here  Archive
Published:Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Electronic vote not up to speed
Electronic voting produced results no faster than old-fashioned paper ballots last night in Toledo's City Council primary. But blame humans, not the machines, Lucas County election officials said. The county's new electronic voting machines used for the first time yesterday worked well, but human error delayed final tabulation about two hours last night, elections officials said. [...] The delay occurred because several poll workers forgot to pull the memory cards out of the new electronic voting machines after the election was finished. Election workers had to go back out to voting locations around the city to fetch the cards -- which contain the results of votes cast on those electronic machines -- so the votes could be included in the final results.


Wed, 10 Sep 2003 13:36:00 PDT    Story Here  Archive
Published:Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Apparent security hole in primary highlights danger of electronic voting
During San Luis Obispo County's March 2002 primary, absentee vote tallies were apparently sent to an Internet site operated by Diebold Election Systems Inc., the maker of the voting machines used in the election. ... computer programmers say the incident is further evidence that electronic voting technology could allow a politically connected computer hacker to monitor balloting and, if the vote was going the wrong way, mobilize voters to swing the election.


Mon, 08 Sep 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Monday, September 8, 2003
Election reforms: Paper or electronic?
Touch screen systems should spit out paper backups, so voters can verify on the spot if their votes were recorded properly, some contend. These paper tallies would be stored by election officials, to match against electronic results for recounts. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12th Dist.), a physicist, is pushing a bill to mandate "paper verification." [...] "Somebody was saying to me that they've used these machines for several years and never had a problem. I said, 'How do you know?' In fact, they cannot know," Holt said.


Mon, 08 Sep 2003 10:34:00 PDT    Story Here  Archive
Published:Monday, September 8, 2003
Touch-Screen Voting Machines Not Approved Yet
McPherson has asked California Secretary of State Kevin Shelly to address concerns that the machines from Diebold Elections Systems Inc. of Ohio could be tampered with to produce inaccurate results. A state task force has issued a report on the machines' security and accuracy. But state officials said further action has been delayed by a need to get public comment on the report, as well as by work on the Oct. 7 recall election.


Sun, 07 Sep 2003 02:15:00 PDT    Story Here  Archive
Published:Sunday, September 7, 2003
Voting devices' security at issue
While hacking or other tampering worries computer experts, others fear that the current system won't allow for an accurate recount if problems are suspected. Current state and federal laws are murky on whether such systems must provide a "paper trail" in which voters can check a document to see if their votes were correctly recorded. [...] "Our concern is that people have no way of knowing that the machine stored their vote as they intended," said Alexander, president of the Davis-based California Voter Foundation, a nonprofit group that follows voting issues. "These voting systems aren't transparent. If there's a problem, people might perceive the election as stolen or rigged."


Mon, 06 Sep 2003 08:18:00 PDT    Story Here  Archive
Published:Saturday, September 6, 2003
Computer Scientists Fear Voter Fraud With Touch-Screen Voting
Punch-card ballots from Tuesday's historic recall election are sure to get a going-over by political activists, but some computer scientists think touch-screen voting machines deserve just as much scrutiny. While punch-card ballots caused headaches for Florida election officials with their "hanging" and "pregnant" chads, 10 percent of the touch-screen machines in California don't produce paper printouts. And no printouts, the scientists said, would make a legitimate recount impossible. "You can't do a meaningful recount if the question is about the integrity of the voting machines themselves," said David Dill, a computer science professor at Stanford University. He urged voters in the four counties using touch-screen terminals to vote with absentee ballots.


Wed, 03 Sep 2003 15:17:00 CST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Wednesday, September 3, 2003
State election reform challenges
In the past few weeks new concerns about electronic voting machines are causing some state officials to consider asking for more time. Computer scientists are critical of the machines when they lack a way for the voter to verify his or her vote was recorded accurately. "There is no trustworthy way that the voter can check the record that's made is an accurate representation of his vote," said David Dill, a professor of computer science at Stanford University. "You the voter could vote for candidate A and the vote be recorded for candidate B and you'll never know that." Dill, who is leading a campaign for change, suggests the solution would be a paper ballot that prints out after making the electronic vote. The voter would then verify his or her vote and put the paper ballot in a locked box at the polling place.


Fri, 03 Sep 2003 12:00:00 PDT    Story Here  Archive
Published:Wednesday, September 3, 2003
Recount procedures questioned in California election
Political activists are planning to scrutinize punch-card ballot results in California's historic recall election, raising the likelihood of a recount if the outcome is close. But some computer scientists fear more trouble with electronic ballots. With almost one in 10 registered voters using touch-screen machines that don't automatically produce paper printouts, they say a legitimate recount would prove impossible.


Tue, 02 Sep 2003 12:00:00 EST    Story Here  Archive
Published:Tuesday, September 2, 2003
Battle brewing over touch-screen election technology in Pasco County
Jan Lentz, a member of the county's voting machine task force, says there could be problems ahead. "They're not at a stage of development where they should have been when they were used in [last year's] elections," said Lentz, the chairperson of the committee. "They were not secure enough." She claims scientists have studied the machines and discovered that they are not tamper-proof. An experienced computer hacker could re-program the machines to record erroneous votes according to the research. Lentz is asking Pasco's Supervisor of Elections Kurt Browning to provide printouts of each ballot cast in case a manual recount is called for. Browning says the paper receipts are worthless because how someone might not tell the truth about the way the voted after exiting the booth. "No one has access to what's called the 'source code,' a program that tells the machines how to work," Browning added. "Those are locked up in Tallahassee so tampering isn't a risk."


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