Voters in Fla., Texas complain of e-voting glitches
Some said their votes were flipped from one candidate to another
Computerworld - Elections officials in southern Florida are downplaying recent reports of glitches encountered during early voting on electronic voting machines -- most notably, a problem known as "vote flipping."
The alleged problems occurred this week in Miami-Dade and Broward counties and were spotlighted in articles in the Miami Herald. Florida was the site of the notorious hanging chads that were central to the disputed presidential election of 2000. In part because of the issues in Florida that year, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which, among other things, was aimed at replacing lever-activated and punch-card systems with electronic devices.
In Miami-Dade County, e-voting machines allegedly flipped candidates -- meaning the candidate chosen by a voter was not the candidate registered by the machine -- something officials denied. "I am happy to report that there are no glitches in any of the electronic voting machines at Miami-Dade early voting locations," said Lester Sola, supervisor of elections for the county. Despite the reported glitches, investigations found no problems, said Sola, who emphasized the precautions taken to ensure accurate voting.
"As a precautionary measure, if a voter makes a complaint about a particular machine, that machine is closed and sealed until a technician can assess the problem and, if necessary, take corrective action," he said. "That is what happened with two machines at early voting. After analysis, we have not found any problems with our machines. All deployed units are operational, and I can assure you that no votes were lost while assessing these units."
The voting device vendor is Election Systems & Software Inc., Sola said, adding that the system will work as planned. "We take many aggressive steps to ensure that the election is programmed and tabulated accurately," he said. "We balance the number of voters that enter a precinct to the number of ballots cast there. We also reconcile each touch-screen unit against audit data to ensure that the results are accurate."
"I have not heard of any situations where a voter has raised this issue [about flipping] without also indicating that they used the review screen to review and change their selection if they feel that was needed," said an ES&S spokesman via e-mail. "That feature was not available to voters using punch cards."
In nearby Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, similar flipping incidents were also reported on ES&S iVotronic systems. Such problems are common for at least a certain percentage of voting machines, according to Peter Corwin, assistant to the Broward County administrator.
He said the machines aren't suffering from a universal software glitch; rather, some individual devices have unique problems. These were addressed by recalibrating the devices, a process that didn't involve the loss of any votes. "Like anything else, we'll shake it out as a minor problem," said Corwin.
- Enable secure remote access to 3D data without sacrificing visual perfomance Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for...
- Virtually Delivered High Performance 3D Graphics "A picture is worth a thousand words." That old phrase is as true today as it ever was. Pictures (i.e., those with heavy...
- Best Practices for Securing Hadoop Historically, Apache Hadoop has provided limited security capabilities. To protect sensitive data being stored and analyzed in Hadoop, security architects should use a...
- Top Tips for Securing Big Data Environments: Why Big Data Doesn't Have to Mean Big Security Challenges Organizations must come to terms with the security challenges they introduce. As big data environments ingest more data, organizations will face significant risks...
- What should I look for in a Next Generation Firewall? SANS Provides Guidance With so many vendors claiming to have a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW), it can be difficult to tell what makes each one different....
- Responding to New SSL Cybersecurity Threat The featured Gartner research examines current strategies to address new SSL cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities. All Security White Papers | Webcasts
Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!