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Reply #23: EVoting used in New Mexico [View All]

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SoCalDemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-04 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. EVoting used in New Mexico

New Mexico is definitely using electronic voting and had problems with it in 2002. Please help find more data.

http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99996523

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And mistakes do happen. In 2002, touch-screen machines made by Sequoia Voting Systems were implicated in a fiasco in a local election in Bernalillo county, New Mexico. The system registered only 36,000 votes out of the 48,000 that had been cast. It turned out that the error occurred after votes were downloaded from individual machines memory cards to a central tabulator: a software bug told the tabulator to ignore all votes cast above a certain threshold.

The inconsistency in the voting tally was only spotted shortly before the vote was certified. The bug was later found, admitted to, and corrected by Sequoia technicians who retrieved the missing votes stored on back-up memory cards in individual machines. It shakes ones confidence to know there was a problem this basic in the system, says Dill.

Strauss argues that an electronic recount of this kind itself raises an ethical problem. Only company technicians, rather than election officials, are qualified to fix the software, but then any changes they make are not then re-certified. A paper recount would have made everyone less queasy, he says.

This should not be a problem in Nevada, where all the electronic voting machines used on 2 November will be required to produce a paper record of each vote. Voters will then be able to check this paper ballot and drop it in a ballot box. Nevada is the only state to require this, but California and Ohio, among others, will be watching the outcome closely as they intend to move to the same model for elections in 2006.

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