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Md. files claim to recover voting machine expenses (Balto Sun) {$8.5 M}

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-26-08 03:53 PM
Original message
Md. files claim to recover voting machine expenses (Balto Sun) {$8.5 M}
Edited on Fri Dec-26-08 03:56 PM by eppur_se_muova
By Laura Smitherman |
December 25, 2008
After years of problems with the state's touch-screen voting system, Maryland has filed a claim to recover $8.5 million from the maker of the machines, Premier Election Solutions, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced yesterday.

The claim seeks costs the state incurred to correct security gaps in the voting system that were uncovered several years ago by independent investigations. The state has paid $90 million under a contract with Premier, formerly known as Diebold, since 2001. During that time, the two parties have had a sometimes-rocky relationship as hitches in the voting system surfaced.

"Under basic contract law, this is money that should be paid by Diebold or its successor and not by the taxpayers," Gansler said in an interview. "This is sort of the final chapter of the touch-screen machines that we've had issues with in Maryland since we've gotten them."

Last year, Gov. Martin O'Malley and the General Assembly decided to eventually dump the touch-screen equipment and instead move toward buying new optical-scan machines, which read paper ballots filled in by voters with pencil or pen and allow for a manual recount. The new system is expected to cost about $20 million.
The claim now goes before a state procurement officer, whose decision on the matter could then be petitioned to the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals. Until the dispute is settled, the state is withholding payment on $4 million in bills for services Premier provided for the 2008 elections.


ON EDIT: Press release from the MD AG at
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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 12:06 AM
Response to Original message
1. Word. nt
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 12:19 AM
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2. "The State estimates the total cost of these expenditures, to date, at $8.47 million."
Edited on Sat Dec-27-08 12:21 AM by Wilms
That's according to the press release.

That'll cut down the $20M MD will spend to implement computerized electronic just as hackable optical scam.

Got risk-based audit?

~on edit~

And a Merry Christmas to you, eppur_se_muova.

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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 12:46 AM
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3. Paperless Electronic or Mechanical vote counting, is a Scam
we are all adults and we all know and understand this but, once we get optical scanners in place AND WE WILL get them in place :smoke:, there must be a common sense procedure put into place that allows any voter to be able to hand count all or a small percentage of those paper ballots at the polling place at the close of election.


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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 03:32 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. And what will hand counting a small percentage at the polling place tell us? nt
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 09:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Depends, Bill
But what is really the best to come from hand counting is that it would be known that if there is a cheat going on, it may be uncovered. As it is now, the crooks know they can get away with anything 'cuz nobody is double checking the ballots.
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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Actually, in CT they are "double checking the ballots".

That's how this problem was uncovered.


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kster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. You would have to ask that question to the
people who keep screaming for a 5-10% audit, I want a full hand count of the ballots but, the most important thing, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING is that the audit/full hand count of the ballots be done before the ballots leave the polling place!

This is the procedure I demand be put into place along with paperless voting, electronic or mechanical machines being OUTLAWED as they should be, is....

Italian paper electoral procedures (Hand Counted Paper Elections)
The counting procedures are the following:

26) Ballot papers (voted and not voted) must remain, at all times, inside the polling room they started off in. The ballot boxes are visible to everybody at all times. Ballot papers are only taken to their final destination when the counting is over and the results of the polling room are made public.

27) Each ballot paper is checked by all six of the polling station workers and any of the parties representatives. In case of disagreement about who to assign the vote to, the president decides a temporary "position", but that ballot paper is sent to Court for a final decision. The counting is simultaneously managed by two scrutineers who both have their own paper record. Paper records have one page for each party and candidate, each page is made of small numbered squares: 1, 2, 3, 4 and so forth. As each vote is assigned to a party (and/or a candidate) scruteeners find its page on their own paper record, cross the next empty square and loudly read its number. All the time the two voices say the same number there are no problem, as soon as they differ everybody stops and check what has happened.
The final result of each party (and/or candidate) is simply the number of the last crossed little square of its own paper record.

28) At the end of the count, each polling room sends all the ballot papers and the official stamp to the competent authorities along with one copy of the official statement, signed by all six workers of the polling room. These are kept for a number of years. The government calculates the official figures from the official reports of the polling rooms. The second copy of the statement is collected by the local authorities.

29) Each local authority collects the results of its polling rooms and therefore calculates the results on a local level, independently of the national government.

30) Even parties calculate the results independently, since they have their representatives in each polling room. They can therefore compare their calculations with those of the government.

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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-27-08 03:37 AM
Response to Original message
5. Don't know all the details, but do know
there is, in most states, an implied warranty that goods sold will be reasonably fit for the purpose intended; and I'm pretty sure these weren't.
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