E-vote technology at center stage amid election hype, hysteria
There have been only isolated reports of machine malfunctions
Computerworld - WASHINGTON -- As expected, unsubstantiated reports of electronic voting system malfunctions trickled into various independent monitoring organizations today, but officials acknowledge that it could be days before an accurate picture emerges of how well or poorly the e-voting systems performed.
As many as 50 million Americans across 27 states were expected to use some form of electronic voting system to cast their ballot for president before polls close later tonight. And while there have already been hundreds of reported problems associated with the systems since early voting started in some states on Oct. 18, most remain unsubstantiated.
As of 4:15 p.m. (EST), the online Election Incident Reporting System, a tracking system sponsored by grass-roots voter organizations such as the Verified Voting Foundation, was reporting 635 alleged incidents nationwide related to e-voting machine problems.
New York and Pennsylania accounted for the most incidents, with at least 242 reported by late afternoon. In Philadelphia, which has Pennsylvania's largest concentration of voters, 86 incidents were reported, all of which involved voting systems that were allegedly not working properly. However, none of the reports has been independently verified.
Earlier today in Philadelphia, rumors spread quickly that e-voting machines were showing vote totals before the start of counting, prompting state Republican party officials to cry foul and threaten litigation. Those reports were false because observers misinterpreted an odometer-style vote counter that records all votes cast on each machine and is not reset for each election, said Kenneth Rapp, deputy secretary for regulatory programs for Pennsylvania.
However, at least four polling places in the city reported malfunctioning of older voting machines from Danaher Controls Inc., Doherty said.
In one precinct in Virginia, where the line of voters waiting to vote surpassed 100, only one of the eight Advanced Voting Solutions Inc. WinVote touch-screen systems was in operation, due to unidentified problems.
But most election officials in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Michigan said they had not received any reports of problems with any electronic or other voting systems in use today. And that was on a day when state elections officials around the nation reported extremely heavy turnout.
Princeton computer science professor Edward Felton, a spokesman for Evoting-experts.com, an independent group of computer science and IT security experts, acknowledged that the reports being posted on his organization's Web site are based on press reports and have not been independently verified.
"We disclose our sources so that readers can make up their own minds," said Felton. "Of course, the big picture will only emerge over the coming days and weeks."
At least one of the reports, however, is
This state transportation department uses computer science students from a local university as programming interns, and everyone is happy with the arrangement -- until one intern learns how to bring down the mainframe.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Path Selection Infographic
- Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic
- A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era
- From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs
- If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity... All Government IT White Papers
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Mobile Security: Containerizing Enterprise Data In this on-demand webinar, Fixmo's Lee Cocking, VP of corporate strategy, explains why Apple-ization trends like mobility and "bring-your-own-device" (BYOD) are driving the...
- Endpoint Data Management: Protecting the Perimeter of the Internet of Things Not surprisingly, "Internet of Things" (IoT) and Big Data present new challenges AND opportunities for enterprise IT. Teams need to harness, secure and...
- All Government IT Webcasts