Monday, October 30, 2006

e-lect... ricity?

Daytona Beach -- Early voting was delayed in Volusia County for about an hour and 15 minutes Saturday morning after a transformer blew and knocked out power to the City Island Library in Daytona Beach.

Elections Supervisor Ann McFall said the polling place was closed after the electricity went out about 9:55 a.m. The power didn't come back until about 1:30 p.m. but residents were allowed to vote after about 11 a.m. Elections officials opened windows to let in light and checked voter registrations by calling the elections office in DeLand using cellular telephones. The site remained open later, as well.

Officials discovered another problem Saturday night -- the ballot count was off by 20 votes.

McFall said votes cast during the power outage were stored in one compartment of the vote-collection box, where they were supposed to be held until they could be fed into the electronic-vote counter. Twenty ballots likely spilled into another compartment, where counted votes are kept.

She said she plans to recount those ballots Nov. 5, when she also will recount ballots cast on Thursday at the DeLand elections office because the vote count there was off by one.

Now imagine a power outage say, in the middle of US voting day.
With thousands of people waiting to vote on exciting modern touch-screen electronic machines. None of which, I can pretty much guarantee, have power backup.
Plus which, I'm guessing the machines handle a sudden power outage with all the grace of most computer systems - damaged files, corrupted databases, errors on memory cards.

Power outage delays voting - Orlando Sentinel - October 29, 2006
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