Dr. C. Scott Ananian (cananian) wrote,
Dr. C. Scott Ananian

Vote count marred by computer woe

From Boone County, Indiana:
Lebanon -- Boone County officials are searching for an answer to the computer glitch that spewed out impossible numbers and interrupted an otherwise uneventful election process Tuesday.

"I about had a heart attack," County Clerk Lisa Garofolo said of the breakdown that came as an eager crowd watched computer-generated vote totals being projected onto a wall of the County Courthouse rotunda.

"I'm assuming the glitch was in the software."

A lengthy collaboration between the county's information technology director and advisers from the MicroVote software producer fixed the problem. But before that, computer readings of stored voting machine data showed far more votes than registered voters.

"It was like 144,000 votes cast," said Garofolo, whose corrected accounting showed just 5,352 ballots from a pool of fewer than 19,000 registered voters.

"Believe me, there was nobody more shook up than I was."

Source: The Indianapolis Star. [Thanks to Dan Margolis for the pointer.]

Note that MicroVote calls themselves, "The leader in Direct Recording Electronic Voting Technology". (Google also reveals that the hidden page description meta-information on this page calls MicroVote, "the most reliable DRE voting system". Heaven help us!) The states and counties using MicroVote machines are disclosed here and here: Arkansas, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, and Tennessee. They make both Voting Hardware and Election Management Software; no indication from the Star story which was at fault. If we're lucky it's the Election Management Software, because remember the first principle of these Direct Recording Electronic Voting machines is: THERE IS NO BACKUP! Nothing you can go to for a recount. So it's hard to imagine how they could resurrect any sort of credible vote tabulation (read, declare a winner) if the MACHINES were at fault.

Tags: dre, elections

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