Wednesday, December 01, 2004

review of US election day problems

More than 4,000 votes vanished without a trace into a computer's overloaded memory in one North Carolina county, and about a hundred paper ballots were thrown out by mistake in another. In Texas, a county needed help from a laboratory in Canada to unlock the memory of a touch-screen machine and unearth five dozen votes.

In other places, machine undercounting or overcounting of votes was a problem. Several thousand votes were mistakenly double-counted in North Carolina, Ohio, Nebraska, and Washington state. Some votes in other areas were at first credited to the wrong candidates, with one Indiana county, by some quirk, misallocating several hundred votes for Democrats to Libertarians. In Florida, some machines temporarily indicated votes intended for challenger John F. Kerry were for President Bush, and vice versa.

In the month since the election, serious instances of voting machine problems or human errors in ballot counts have been documented in at least a dozen states

Boston.com (Boston Globe) - December 1, 2004
Voting errors tallied [US] nationwide
includes map of areas with most incidents reported

via Macintouch

Sunday, November 28, 2004

NY Times gets it right on evoting reliability

Battling columnists: James Fallows of the New York Times responds to the trust the machines article.

A columnist in The Washington Post recently suggested that nostalgia for paper ballots, in today's reliably computerized world, must reflect a Luddite disdain for technology in general or an Oliver Stone-style paranoia about the schemings of the political world.

Not at all. It can also arise from a clear understanding of how computers work - and don't. The more you know about the operations of today's widely trusted commercial computer networks, the more concerned you become about most electronic-voting systems.

The phenomenal reliability of the systems we trust for banking, communication, and everything else rests on two bedrock principles. One is the universal understanding in the technology world that nothing works right the first time, and maybe not the first 50 times.

New York Times - November 28, 2004
Electronic Voting 1.0, and No Time to Upgrade

via Slashdot Buggy Voting Machines /.

democratic renewal - action opportunity

And we’ll examine whether and how to modernize our voting process, use technology better, and make it easier to vote.

from Ontario Democratic Renewal Secretariat - Next Steps

We need to use whatever feedback processes they have to ensure we DO NOT get provincial electronic voting.

Thanks to Bob Bailie for pointing this site out.

UPDATE 2004-12-10: There is a mailing list that you can join. I don't know if it's specifically about elections or about Democratic Renewal in general.
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