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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 03:54 PM
Original message
Two days in the field with ES&S OpScans
Edited on Sun May-07-06 04:25 PM by Kelvin Mace
or I Was a Roving Tech for ES&S.

Joyce McCloy of NC Verified Voting sent me a link to a job listing about a month ago for people to act as "rovers" during the NC primary election. The rover's job (one per county)was to assist county election officials with any problems they encountered with voting machines (OpScan and DRE) on election day.

While technical experience was preferred, it was not necessary. Pay was $300 a day plus mileage, meals and hotel expenses for two days. Training would be provided the week prior to election day.

Disclosure: All funds I receive for my efforts will be donated to charity, and documentation posted to certify this. My intention was to get a close look at ES&S systems and procedures as a citizen activist and to provide competent technical assistance if it was needed, not to make money. I was reluctant to take this job on since I knew it would give ammunition in some quarters that "David is in the pay of a voting machine company" and I really don't need THAT headache.

However the opportunity was too good to pass up, so I am risking it anyway.

I would welcome suggestions on who to donate the money to. I am leaning toward a cancer Charity in memory of Andy.


The training session was divided into two classes, one for OpScan and one for DRE. When I arrived, I didn't know this and walked into the first room with lots of ES&S people. I got through most of the I-Votronic class, before they realized I was set to work in an OpScan county.

The DRE training was eye-opening. Working the machine is complicated, with each voter needing to have an electronic cartridge to initialize the machine before they can vote. The number of things that can go wrong, while not extensive, is certainly much more problematic than on an optical scan system (the sheet for trouble shooting DREs is about six pages, for OpScan two).

The trickiest part of the system is the VVPB printer. Since they are using thermal paper, you have put the paper roll in correctly. This was stressed repeatedly during training. The easiest way to be sure you where feeding the printing side correctly was to scratch the paper's surface with a finger nail. The treated side will leave a mark, the untreated side will not. We were also warned to keep an eye on the tape during operation to be sure that it was in fact printing (the paper was fed in correctly and had not jammed).

Jamming was a concern for obvious reasons, but distressingly the system does not appear to detect jams, so the DRE will keep functioning even if the tape has jammed or is not printing. This is, of course, unacceptable. After the election, we had reports of paper being fed incorrectly in eleven machines in Mecklenburg Co. (Charlotte). I did not attend the training session for that county, or the training session for poll workers, so I do not know how well the issue was stressed.

When the printer is working, it records each and every action on the system. Move into supervisor mode, this is recorded. Each and every button you push is recorded, which is how it should be.

The downside is that it burns through paper, meaning you have to change the roll about every 100 voters. And of course, changing the paper roll, while simple enough for those familiar with the process, can be a major hurdle when performed by the unskilled under the stress of an election day. Older poll workers with poor manual dexterity or eye sight are going to have problems.

All of this demonstrates why DREs, even ones with VVPB, are a bad choice for elections:

1) You have to have multiple machines per precinct. OpScan requires one machine per precinct.

2) Only as many people can vote at a time as you have machines. With OpScan, any number of people can vote at the same time, as long as they have space for the ballot and a little distance for privacy.

3) Deployment of multiple machines means trucks must be hired for delivery. OpScan will fit in the trunk of a car.

4) If a machine fails, voting cannot occur on that machine. If battery problems ensue, or power is lost for a long enough period of time, voting STOPS. With OpScan voting occurs whether the scanner is working or not. The ballots are placed in the ballot box and scanned later.

5) The procedures for starting up DREs is a bit involved. Rebooting a hung machine is time consuming, and there are electrical cords and cables to keep track of.

Votes are stored on paper, on a compact flash memory card, and inside the machine. The flash card has a seal over it which must be broken to remove it. Removing the card during the election will halt the machine, and require supervisor intervention, and action by the judges at the polling place.

I was told that the supervisor password for the units would be the same for the entire state. It was explained that this was being done to help with deploying a brand new system statewide for the first time, and that in the future, it would be up to the counties to set the passwords.

OpScan training was a breeze compared to DREs. The AutoMark unit was particularly impressive, as it is the unit for use by the disabled. It has an audio feature for the blind, (with standard headphones supplied, but I noted that it had the old RCA-style audio jack as well). It also had a standard connection of sip/puff paddles for use by those with mobility problems. You can turn the screen off so no one can see how you are voting. I did this and closed my eyes, in order to see how well I could cast a ballot.

Child's play.

The electronic voice is a bit creepy, but the system worked as advertised. You insert your ballot in the slot (orientation is irrelevant, the system can work with the ballot no matter what way you you insert it, as long as you insert it straight. Insertion can be done by a poll worker since the ballot has yet to be marked).

Once it is in, the system prompts you on how to use the controls, then reads each race off to you and names the candidates as you scroll through them.

When you are through making your choices, you are given and opportunity to review and make changes. When you cast you vote, the ballot is marked and ejected for the voter to take (or an assistant or poll worker can take it and run it through the scanner for tallying. A person with problems using their hands will still need help at this point).

BTW, ANYONE can use the AutoMark. Poll workers are instructed to ask no questions if someone requests to use the machine to cast their vote (the machine would also allow the illiterate to vote). Once the ballot has been created, but before it is submitted for tallying, you can still change your mind, spoil your ballot and get another one. Once scanned, it goes automatically into the locked ballot box and alea jacta est.

You cannot overvote with the AutoMark (provided the ballot is programmed correctly). You can undervote, but it is a bit harder to do accidentally, since the machine reads off each race.

For the rest of us, voting is like the SATs. Take the ballot and mark it with a pen.

Problems with OpScan and the AutoMark were pretty much in the paper jam department. Correcting them was pretty simple.

The OpScan unit was pretty simple to use, but had one flaw which has caused ES&S trouble of late. It uses a battery-backed SRAM PCMCIA card to store its votes. Why ES&S chose this type of card mystifies me. Compact Flash (which requires no battery) is a much better choice. In fact, it is what they use on the AutoMark. I hope to get an answer from ES&S on this issue.

You can under/over vote, which is a big disadvantage. Supposedly, the OpScan's are being set to detect overvotes and reject the ballot. It could also be set to reject under votes but this is not being done by order of the SBoE. I am trying to learn why.

On to election day.

There is not really much to say about it. Monday I drove down to Taylorsville, NC (Alexander Co.) and met Linda Mundy, the county election director. She was very solicitous, very dedicated, and very serious about avoiding problems. She was concerned about the memory card problems, and had an entire set of spares on hand to cover each precinct.

Alexander Co. is small, with only 16 precincts. Ms. Mundy loves her OpScan units and said that DRE was never an option in her county. Her voters are older and would not have welcomed DRE.

Election day came and the memory cards behaved themselves. There were a few minor hitches, the most frequent being that the OpScan unit was not seated correctly on the ballots box (the OpScan unit sits on a box the size of a small filing cabinet. This is the ballot box and is locked and sealed). These problems were all solved on the phone without the need for an on-site visit.

The day went on with nary a problem. At the end of the day, the PC cards were brought in (along with poll tapes and poll books), the cards read, and the resulted transferred to a separate machine which transmitted the results to Raleigh. The results were also phoned in for comparison.

And here we have the weakness of the system. I saw no indication that the resulted transmitted were encrypted. The file was straight ASCII and went, as best I can tell, by an FTP protocol. Handling the cards is a "chain of custody" issue, and the folks in Alexander followed the rules as best I could tell.

NC law mandates random audit of a percentage of precincts in each county. This recount allows us to double check the machines for accuracy and as a guard against fraud. If the hand-eye count shows deviation from the digital count, the paper count is taken, the digital count discarded. Any unexplained deviation can trigger a larger hand recount. While OpScan systems can experience deviations in the count due to improperly marked ballots or scanner calibartion issues, DREs should match hand counts 100%. Deviation on a DRE means that either: 1) You miscounted the paper. 2) The software/hardware malfunctioned, or 3) Someone tampered with the results.

The NC SBoE did follow the law, but broke security by announcing which precincts would be counted to the election directors PRIOR to the election. This was stupid and must not be repeated. A letter has been sent to the state director asking for an explanation of this decision.

All in all, this was a pretty smooth deployment. It was also NOT indicative of what could happen in November, as the general election will involved a LOT more voters. Hand-counting DRE's VVPB will be an inconvenience in the primary, but a major pain in a general election. Look for lots of whining from counties with DREs.

I predict that counties with OpScan will have fewer problems than counties with DREs in November.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
1. Audit questions
You write:

"NC law mandates random audit of a percentage of precincts in each county. This recount allows us to double check the machines for accuracy and as a guard against fraud."

Was it a recount or just an audit?

Who performed the audits?

Did any audit turn up problems, or were they all clean?

Thanks ahead of time for answers, and good work.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It hasn't been conducted yet
It will be conducted by election officials in each county with reps from both parties in attendance. Members of the public may also attend. Joyce McCloy will be in attendance in her county.

The law requires a hand-to-eye recount of the paper ballots or the VVPB from the DREs. The number of precincts was chosen by a statistics prof at UNC.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Recount or audit?
Audit or recount?

An audit would be a count of a fraction of votes.

A recount would be all the votes - recounted.

IIRC, the BOEs have one week to make the vote official. Can the vote be made official without a complete audit?
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 04:46 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Audit
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 05:56 PM
Response to Original message
5. I will be doing the hand to eye count in my county
I am doing the hand-to-eye audit of the paper in Forsyth Co North Carolina this Tuesday.

It will be interesting.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 06:02 PM
Response to Original message
6. details on NC SBOE and the Audits
**We will press for more, this is a baby step, election officials completely opposed
the legislation requiring any audit, saying it put too much of a labor burden on them.

Tuesday, May 2. 2006
NC Elections - Regarding Those er uh Sorta "Random" Audits

May. 2, 2006 - NC's May 2nd Primary - Uh, Regarding Those Random Audits...of elections in North Carolina.
North Carolina will be having random audits of the May 2 election.

That is great news - and a first for our state. North Carolina leads much of the country in this respect of election integrity. That is the good news.

The not so good news is that the target of the audits will hardly be a surprise. The State Board of Elections has notified the counties 4 days in advance (of the election) which precincts and which contest will be audited.

For those of you just tuning in, North Carolina has a new law that requires a paper ballot record for every vote cast. This is new for at least 40 counties who voted on paperless voting machines. The paper is checked by the voter, and later can be used by election officials to audit or recount an election.

Read the rest here, with live links to the documents,

http://blackboxvoting.com/s9/index.php?/archives/112-NC...
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Boredtodeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 06:40 PM
Response to Original message
7. Incredible work North Carolina activists!
Now THIS is how you bring reform to electronic voting - by becoming part of the process and not making enemies of the folks on our side.

Well done, David and North Carolina folks. Well done.

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IndyOp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
8. Why go with Opscan - why even a single line of computer code?
The opscans can be loaded with rigged software, the memory cards hacked, the central tabulators hacked --

Do you see getting them to go for opscans with random audits a step toward 100% hand recounts?

:(
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. This is a great step, but you have to keep working and working
We had one county that hand counted their ballots for the primary.
about 100 of their regular poll workers refused to work.
They hired temps for $6.00 an hour to count the ballots, which begins
after the polls close. They got through halfway during the next morning.

I don't know of any HCPB activists participating in that work,
although they insisted their county be HCPB.

This state has been using paperless DRES for 20 years.

Think Danaher.

We had over 7,300 paperless DRES in this state, and we just decertified all of them.

It is hard to argue for paper when no one complained about the paperless
Lever machines.

This is a first step, it doesn't come easy.

You have to keep working and working to gain ground.

We brought testimony to our state legislature on behalf of hand counted paper ballots,
with Chuck Herrin as our expert.

They did clarify in our law that counties could choose hand counted paper ballots if
they wanted.

It would be up to concerned citizens to lobby for that.

While folks at DU are acutely aware of this issue, go out and talk to strangers,
they don't know a darn thing.

We are the only state in the southeast with VVPB.

Now folks will learn to want paper - half of our state's voters never saw a paper
ballot of any sort, and just trusted the machines.

Once they are introduced to it, they will expect and demand it.

I don't see any state completely banning machines yet.
I am all for it, as well as changing the structure of elections so that there
are less items on the ballot (to make counting easier).

I am for letting people work in shifts for elections.

Heck I am for eliminating the electoral college, so we can have a one man one vote.

We certainly are in much better shape than we were.



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ItsTheMediaStupid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #9
19. Paperless is ok when it isn't used for fraud
Edited on Mon May-08-06 12:18 AM by ItsTheMediaStupid
It is hard to argue for paper when no one complained about the paperless
Lever machines.


We never had rampant computer aided election fraud before 2000 and 2004.

BTW, I applaud your efforts and think you have made great progress.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. NC's 2004 Circus Soleil Election
DRES are not new here in NC, had em for 20 years already.

We had an undervote problem caused by some types of DRES,
also blank ballots with some DREs, and touchscreens not
calibrated correctly.

Problems with central tabulators choking on votes.

Look at this - this is paperless voting - we surely had pockets of fraud,
but it would be impossible to prove.

We lost 4,400 votes on one machine, the control unit of a Unilect.

Look at our Circus 2004 here:

http://www.votersunite.org/electionproblems.asp?sort=da...
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 08:08 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Sorry, 100%
hand count is not going to happen in this country. It is unrealistic. So, we do all we can to make the system as transparent as possible. We require the vendor to disclose their code. We audit the counts. We make it a felony to use uncertified software.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #11
27. It happens in England and Canada and it works fine.
Another crappy election cycle and there will be screaming crowds demanding it. Just a hint there, there is a real "spoilage" problem with Latino voters in Southern California. If that happens again and there's a material impact, a goof ball candidate gets in due to spoilage, there will be people in the streets.

I like this post a lot (see below) but what seems to be now is not what will be. The conversion would be easy. We simply have to remind ourselves that the BoE's work for us and their convenience or time variables just don't matter when it comes to transparent, fair elections. Canada wraps up four hours after the polls close. Those of us with initial insomnia will be glad to wake the rest of the country with the results if they go to bed before 11:00.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. England and Canada do not have complicated ballots
like we do in the US. California, for example, had their recall election with 136 candidates, not counting the write ins. You cannot accurately count ballots that complicated by hand. In 2004, I had a ballot with 47 races, bond issues, referendums and constutional amendments.

You can't realistcally count a ballot that complicated by hand.
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 03:07 AM
Response to Reply #30
31. You're picking the worst case scenario. CA has direct amendment
Edited on Tue May-09-06 03:09 AM by autorank
of the State Constitution. However, I grew up there and the ballot initiative was widely used. My mother took me to vote from the day I was three. They managed to do it then.

The Virginia ballot is simple. In 2005, we had six or seven items on the ballot -- 4-5 elected officials and a couple of bond issues. Paper, no problem. Do it tomorrow. Of course, our party here has Harris Miller as a candidate for the Senate nomination (he'll lose). Even to have that happen is disgusting. Diebold attack hound, champion of out sourcing high tech jobs (the main economy here).

I think 100% paper is not possible because of CA but CA is unique. CA is one of the few, maybe the only state, with that type of constitution (and it can be a mess). But even there, it's been done in the past, quite well with large ballots.

Optiscans with open source, multiple inspections, full rights to examine all of the paper ballots for any reason (no recount thresholds) etc. might work in CA but, short of a real open system, we're hugely vulnerable. We both know how greedy people who are greedy can be!

In the short term, it would be extremely helpful if Dean were brought up to speed on the fundamental issues: free, fair, transparent, accessible, and open elections FIRST then the voting medium needed to accommodate those goals. We speak to the public the wrong way. It's a bold citizen's rights issue, it's requisite for legitimate government. That's something everyone can understand.

Shame about Cathy Cox isn't it :evilgrin: ...having to justify herself as making the right decision as her house of cards collapses.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #31
32. California is not unique
As I said, my ballot for High Point, NC had 40+ races/issues. You can't hand count ballots with that many races/issues.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #11
28. It's the software
... that is the problem and it looks as if NC has made the right steps to have some control, finally, over the vendors' codes.

Thanks to the reform activists in North Carolina!

The outcome of the audits will be of great import to the cause. Looking forward to reading a report.
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Thtwudbeme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 07:55 PM
Response to Original message
10. kicking
another important thread.
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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
12. On to the "greatest" page you go....
:kick:
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anoraksia53 Donating Member (155 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 08:11 PM
Response to Original message
13. Interesting report
Did they ever ask you about your technical background? (What's your own area of technical experience, did it seem relevant?)

Could you tell if the other people had any technical experience, what was your impression?

Do you know anyone who tried out the sip n puff gizmo and how did it work? It's cool you tried the audio.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. they only chose technical folks that I know of
several people applied, someone found out about it via
a daily kos diary, tipped us off.

Of the folks I know of that applied, only ones with technical background
were accepted.

Since our State Board of Elections wouldn't let us look at the machines,
we found another way.

We learned alot that the news doesnt tell you and the election officials
don't want to mention.

Some of the problems were as simple as they didn't turn the machine on.
There is a switch or lever on the back of the optical scanner, all you
have to do is flip it.

but some poor old folks got so nervous, they froze up.
That is what support is for. A simple phone call took care of it.
(some people aren't good at reading directions when they are nervous)



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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. I volunteered my credentials when I inquired
Edited on Sun May-07-06 10:46 PM by Kelvin Mace
about the listing.

I am an MCSE, a Compaq ASE and have a number of vendor tech certifcations from Okidata, HP, Compaq and IBM. I have written freelamce about PCs and had a regular tech column at one time in a regional paper. I taught computer courses and worked as a tech/SE for over 20 years. I spent eight years working for a company that wrote software for banks.

Was my experience relevant? Not really, since nothing I was doing invloved the guts of the machine. I would not have been "cracking the case". Does it help to have a tech background? Probably, if for no other reason than you are not intimidated by the equipment.

There were some techs in the class, but there were also at least two neophytes. Most folks were at least PC support types.

I didn't see the sip/puff paddles used since they didn't provide one (this is not wrong on their part, people who need them bring their own). The socket is standard and the AutoMark has the socket right beside the audio jacks.

david Allen
www.blackboxvoting.com
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mmarcus Donating Member (97 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #17
39. But do you think they'd take someone with less?
I am informally trained and don't have any certificates. Do you know what the minimum requirements are? This is a brilliant idea.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #39
44. They were taking non-techs
out my way.

If you have an interest, volunteer as a poll worker. Learn who your election officals are and how they feel about the issues.

They need YOUNGER workers who are not intimidated by computers.
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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
14. kick to read it later n/t
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icehenge Donating Member (411 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
16. thanks for your report
Nice to hear that these machines being studied.
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-07-06 11:01 PM
Response to Original message
18. Link? Also
another qualification - you sat on the legislative committee
that drafted the standards.

Also, we owe thanks to an unnamed activist who discovered this opportunity.

We would never have thought it up.

We need to ask the SBOE to put instructions on the DRES, or we may be
able to enlist the county BOEs or their political party chairs to
do this.


This is what New York has -

"There shall be instructions for performing the verification process
made available to the voter in a location on the voting system."

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 12:28 AM
Response to Original message
20. No HAVA requirement for undervote warning.
Edited on Mon May-08-06 12:32 AM by Bill Bored
"Supposedly, the OpScan's are being set to detect overvotes and reject the ballot. It could also be set to reject under votes but this is not being done by order of the SBoE. I am trying to learn why."

This is probably why, but it could also be because they want fewer rejected ballots.

One question is this: Does the scanner notify the voter WHICH race was overvoted? Because this is the subject of some debate and is also a HAVA requirement, which Diebold Op Scan does not meet!

Thanks for the update. I'm glad there was a

over the flash cards! :thumbsup:

One other thing: you didn't mention whether the scanners were TESTED or not before, during or after the election. I'd be concerned about that.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. HAVA requirements
If I were a candidate, I would want it to reject undervotes whether HAVA required it or not.

As to your questions:

I don't know whether the scanner identifies the race. I'll see what I can find out.

I know testing if the scanner is done when the ballot is created, but I don't know that it is tested aferward. I wasn't in the precincts during the election, I was at the BoE office.

Again, I'll find out.

David
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
23. Link to Kelvin's article, and about the undervotes
Here is a link to Kelvin's article,
http://blackboxvoting.com/s9/index.php?/archives/113-Tw ...

and here are my rather useless comments about the undervotes.

The NC Association of Election Directors are urging that machines be set
to alert voter of undervotes for November.

I have heard from some experts that this setting can be done locally,
but I also hear different info that they have to be programmed to do it.

Maybe it is part of the ballot definition files, I really don't know.

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Boredtodeath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 04:55 PM
Response to Original message
24. Kicking this important thread back to the top n/t
.
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roody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 07:42 PM
Response to Reply #24
25. k
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
26. Great post. Real world analysis.. K & R (if I'd been on time)
The 2nd to last paragraph is the truth, IMHO. What percentage of voters showed up for primaries in NC? In VA we get about 10% - 15% maybe. (That should be a mail ballot deal. Lots more representation that way.) But your point...this is not "load testing" it's optimal, alpha maybe. What happens when 50% show up or more. Lots of pissed off people out there ready to let their opinions know.

I'll accept you version of NC as gospel. There are two tiers of states in this primary season:

1) Acceptable - but not really tested due to "low load."

2) Unacceptable - from noticeable problems impacting more than just a few voters to noticeable problems affecting large numbers of voters.

We don't know what states are actually able to pull of a general in 2006 because there is no simulation.

Ultimately, however, all the states are unacceptable The states make their citizens vote on machines where voting, counting, error correction, etc. is done in private and cannot be recreated in the case of DRE's; cannot be trusted since there too many machines to test individually, in the case of DREs and Optiscans; and cannot be deemed to legitimize ANY CANDIDATE because of the previous two points.

Boy were we sold a bill of lousy goods!

Thanks. I'm putting this post attributed to you in todays news thread as part of the wrap up on the states in the first go round.

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mmarcus Donating Member (97 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #26
38. We need more like this
solid ifnormation out there in the real world.

What is your advice so more of us can do things like this? I have some computer skills but not expert. I have been following this issue for years and I want to really do something.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. Talk to your local election board
There are to kinds, those who will welcome your help and those that will be implacably hostile. The hostile sorts tend to have DREs. :)

Off to help during elections to train poll workers and play tech support.

Most election boards are woefully understaffed in the tech dept.

Be polite and professional. Avoid partisan politics since they have an obligation to neutrality.
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nicknameless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-08-06 08:32 PM
Response to Original message
29. Another ...
:kick:
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truckin Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
33. Great work! I forwarded this to the SOTS in Connecticut and her
deputy SOTS responded thanking me for the information. She also said that they would use this analysis to help them decide what machines to buy by the end of May. Hopefully, they will make the right decision. Thanks for sharing this.
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. Great!
Do let me know what happens.

David Allen
www.blackboxvoting.com
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truckin Donating Member (500 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 08:11 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. I'll let you know as soon as CT decides on what machines to
purchase. Thanks again for the report.
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namewithnohorse Donating Member (3 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-09-06 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
35. Thank you for this report !
Finally, some real fact-based first hand information.
I'm a clueless newbie here, although have been reading and lurking for a long time. It's refreshing to see a thread devoid of the frequent gutter-sniping and personal attacks that seem to be so commonplace here.

We can collectively wallow in the muck of attack and counter attack and make no progress, or we can deal with important facts like those reported here, and have a chance to make changes.

Let's see more of this !!!
This is what Election Reform is about !!

Sdun


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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #35
41. Sorry for the flaming threads
We are trying to do this job, and deal with prima donnas at the same time. :)
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mmarcus Donating Member (97 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
37. I'm in Diebold country
We have had the @#*@# touchscreens here for years. Do you know anything about them?
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WillYourVoteBCounted Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #37
40. we USED to have Diebold in NC, plenty of info here
Read the tale of Diebold woe in NC -

We had touchscreens in one county, the biggest issue was with the
central tabulator, not the touchscreens themselves.

The tabulator choked when votes were loaded.
Process so complicated even the Diebold tech (long time tech for them)
couldn't get it to work.

maybe a capacity problem, don't know.

Diebold sales pitch - what you should know
http://www.ncvoter.net/diebold.html

Diebold news as pertains to NC, court cases, etc
http://www.ncvoter.net/dieboldnews.html

Diebold source code - some info we have accumulated -
http://www.ncvoter.net/dieboldcode.html
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Kelvin Mace Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-10-06 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #37
42. A bit.
:)

What state are you in and what area?
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