Sunday, August 08, 2004

comp.risks - Risks Digest - 2 August 2004
Cosmic ray hits Brussels election -- really?

To summarise the responses to this item, I have now been able to confirm the story [4100 votes given to candidate in local Brussels election by computer error due to cosmic ray]. It was of course actually 4096 = 2^12 votes, as correspondent Robson and I expected.


The event occurred in the election held on 18 May 2003. An expert review determined that as no software defects had been found on inspecting the source code and no test had been able to reproduce the error, it was probably attributable to a spontaneous inversion of a bit in the RAM of the PC (no explicit mention of cosmic rays). However the report concluded that even if the voting system under review was not perfect the totality of controls was sufficient to be confident in the overall result. I wonder.
Thank you Florida, for so very many stories.

Wired News - AP - July 30, 2004
Lost Florida Voting Records Found

Miami-Dade County elections officials said Friday they have found detailed electronic voting records from the 2002 gubernatorial primary that were originally believed lost in computer crashes last year.

Seth Kaplan, spokesman for the Elections Supervisor office, said the records were found on a compact disc in the office. "We are very pleased," he said.

Emphasis mine.

Wired News - July 30, 2004
Floridians Demand E-Vote Inquiry

A group of election-reform activists are demanding a Department of Justice investigation into the viability of touch-screen voting machines, after it was discovered that logs of votes cast on the machines in Miami-Dade County in a 2002 election were lost.

Elections supervisors blamed the loss on bad management, not on the machines. But the activists are nevertheless furious that the loss occurred eight months after the 2002 election, but was not publicized until after an audit was requested. Now the Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition is demanding an investigation.
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