The debate over e-voting rages on. In Ohio’s Franklin County, the Board of Elections had a 4-page insert placed in the Daily Monopoly (The Columbus Dispatch) explaining the new voting machines that will be in place for our May 2 primary. Some are excited that the machines aren’t Diebold – Franklin County BOE Director Matt Damschroder could hardly  purchase Diebold machines after being suspended without pay for taking a $10,000 check/bribe from Bush and Hackwell’s favorite voting vendor – but Election Systems & Software (ES&S) has clear Republican ties through Sen. Chuck Hagel’s ownership interest in the company. 

While the ES&S machines sound wonderful in the Dispatch ad, when BOE employee Howard Heard first presented the machine to the Commissioners for demonstration, it didn’t work and had to be brought back for a second presentation.

Also, voting rights activist John Gideon has pointed out problems with ES&S optical scan machines in Ohio’s Summit County. ES&S admitted to making mistakes with the memory card and had to replace 70% of the instrument that records the vote.  So the memory card is one area voters should pay attention to.

A big problem in the November 2005 Ohio election was the lost and misplaced memory cards in Montgomery County and the fact that the BOE in Lucas County hired co-called “Rovers” to pick up the memory cards and they came in VERY late. Questions over the chain of custody of the memory cards is key to conducting an honest election.

The ad emphasizes that the new Ohio ES&S machines are “state and federally certified and have passed three independent software audits.” The question is, who were the independent auditors. Let me leave you with the opinion of Black Box Voting on certification: “Black Box Voting calls foul on the entire certification process (Federal and State). The Federal process is broken. The limited functionality testing performed by Steve Freeman and CompuWare hasn’t even tested for several of the known glitches (like Dr. Herbert Thompson’s VBA script attack, and Hursti’s electronic ballot box stuffing and memory card swapping techniques).  No one has corrected even the risks that have been acknowledged.”

4 replies
  1. kickass_in_columbus
    kickass_in_columbus says:

    I don’t understand how we can be getting ready for another election and the problems Bob and others identified in previous elections still have not been addressed. Are we insane?

  2. 48thRonin
    48thRonin says:

    The Democrats are running their races like Hackwell is going to let a fair vote proceed. At least Bob will be there to challenge fraud – unlike Kerry in 2004.

  3. dael4
    dael4 says:

    Yes WE are insane! The following from Brad Blog.
    Blogged by John Gideon on 4/27/2006 @ 8:20pm PT…

    ES&S MELTDOWN: More Problems Now Emerge in West Virginia
    Company Technician Uses Old Version of Software To Program Voting Machines

    Company Technician Uses Old Version of Software To Program Voting Machines
    Guest Blogged by John Gideon On top of Brad’s earlier report today on the ES&S meltdown in Texas, and loads of other states, we find out that still more problems…

    Guest Blogged by John Gideon

    On top of Brad’s earlier report today on the ES&S meltdown in Texas, and loads of other states, we find out that still more problems with ES&S have been encountered in West Virginia.

    On Thursday the Associated Press reported that a software “glitch” has delayed testing in 11 counties. The reason?

    Though electronic ballots on the ES&S iVotronic Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machines are programmed and seem to recorde votes accurately during testing, it’s taking six hours or more to tabulate all the results. That is a huge problem for machines sold on the premise of accuracy and speed.

    But the larger concern? “Version control”. Apparently an ES&S engineer programmed the machines using outdated software. The company seem to not bother to ensure the correct version of software is being used and installed on the machines. And counties are not watching to ensure ES&S is keeping their machines current.

    Ben Beakes, the chief of staff for WF Sec. of State Betty Ireland, explained:

    “All the votes on the paper trail are correct. All the votes inside the machines are correct. It will just not recognize them when it’s time to tabulate the results,” Beakes said.

    That said, was the software version used federally qualified with the hardware and firmware version being used by those 11 counties? Do the states or counties even care? Maybe not but they should because not all versions of software will work with all versions of firmware. That’s why there are version numbers.

    And that’s just one more reason why we’re headed for an electoral train wreck.

  4. Dave Kovacs
    Dave Kovacs says:

    In schools the students are conditioned to believe computers are infallible. Earlier and earlier children receive “technology education,” or learning how to do conventional tasks electronically.

    If we don’t mount a public campaign against electronic voting machines now, it will be impossible to convince the next generation why its even necessary.

    “I’m sorry Dave, I can’t do that.”

    Dave Kovacs
    Dave Kovacs for Ohio Board of Education
    Representing District 7

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