Thought Possible

notes & magnifications, by J.E. Robertson
Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 3, 2008 10:41AM

Touchscreen Machine in Colorado Flipping Votes to McCain

Rate: 12 Flag

An electronic voting machine made by Premier Election Solutions (Diebold) has been found to flip votes repeatedly to Republican candidate John McCain. A local election official in Adams County responded to the complaint by halting the machine's use and sequestering it, so it could be examined for evidence of tampering and/or persistent malfunction.

The Colorado Independent reports that:

An electronic voting machine in Adams County repeatedly failed to accept a vote for a Democratic state Senate candidate — instead registering the vote for her Republican opponent — at an early voting site last week and has been removed from service, the Aurora Sentinel reports Wednesday. Adams County Clerk and Recorder Karen Long told the newspaper the error doesn’t reflect wider problems in the county’s voting systems, but the candidate said the incident could lead to a lawsuit.

The Diebold Accu-Vote machine involved in the Adams County case has been reported to have had vote-flipping problems in the past. Computer scientists have disagreed over what could explain the flipping, with many suggesting the devices' tendency to flip pro-Republican could not be explained by a routine persistent malfunction, unless there were some piece of computer code that was prompting them to do this.

The machines were a persistent problem in the 2004 Kerry-to-Bush vote-flipping scandal that has plagued election officials in the state of Ohio. The manufacturer, Diebold, has been investigated for potential criminal wrongdoing in California, Florida, and other states, has faced an SEC probe and Justice Dept. investigation for deceptive business practices, and has since changed its name to Premier Election Solutions.

This year, millions of Americans will be casting ballots, or have already done so, on machines that leave literally zero verifiable evidence of the voter's intent. Aside from violating the law in most states —which tend to require specifically that voter-intent be the measure of what is counted in vote-counting—, this fact means the entire election process itself is in question. Many states have required, or have been ordered by federal courts to provide, emergency paper ballots, in case of malfunction or suspicion of tampering with electronic machines. [CafeSentido.com]

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Comments

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This is such a serious issue, and one that a Democratic Congress absolutely MUST address. Even if there is no hanky panky, the electorate needs to have confidence in the process, or the process won't work. Thanks.
Agreed and it has to be taken care of as soon as the new and improved Democratic majority is sworn into office. We can't wait until months before the next election to become concerned. The guilty must be brought to trial and there must be a better way to tally votes with a paper trail....my god....aren't we in the middle of a technological revolution? We can go to the moon, implant embryos in Granny's womb, transform a man into a woman, but we are total screwups when it comes to the simple act of casting votes? Give me a break!
Please see my post with important information from Black Box Voting on how we can all help protect the vote in this very type of situation.
http://open.salon.com/content.php?cid=37437
They have the nerve to call this the "Accu-Vote" machine?
Very serious.

I also like your use of the term "sequestration" and the editors' use of "quarantine" on the cover. It's like the machine has a bad, bad disease ;)
It is really a shocking mystery. I can't explain why the problem has not been properly addressed. I can't believe our elected officials are so lazy as to not take interest in this issue, to be intellectually tuned out. Which only raises more questions. Why haven't people gone to jail for this? Why would any state be so brazen as to allow even one vote to be cast on these machines?