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View Diary: Early voting in South Florida: Already FUBAR! (154 comments)

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  •  What I meant... (none)
    In DC, there was not a hardcopy printout for each and every vote.  There was a printout, though, for each batch of votes (cards).

    I do realize, we're comparing apples to oranges here, because I'm describing a card-based system, but there should be some similarities.

    When we counted votes, the cards came in from the different voting stations to the elections board at the District Building in DC.  The cards were put into a hopper to be read.  The totals from each batch of cards was stored in the database on a 20 meg removable hard drive.  Each batch generated a report.  A full report could be summoned and printed at any time during the counting showing the current totals and how many votes came from each station.

    This is very different from how it must be done with an all electronic system.  But there must still be some kind of audit trail showing that X number of votes from station X were put into the system.  Subtotals by voting station have to be summonable.  

    If you can't do that, if you have to rely on a final total, then it seems to me you would have enormous problems just setting things up and testing that everything is working the day before counting begins.  

    It's like this.  If you're cooking soup, and you have questions about the ingredients or the stove, you have to taste it occasionally.  Otherwise, you might not be making soup!  

    I think there has to be some way for the supervisor to look at the running totals just to know that everything is working right.

    •  I understood what you meant (none)
      But what I was trying to tell you is that it's not possible.

      The way the software is written, in ALL these systems, is that you cannot get a machine/precinct/district total without "Ending The Election."  

      End Election is a menu option.  

      Only after choosing End Election can you print reports of any kind.  

      Once you End Election, you can't cast a vote in that election again.

      Now, apply those facts to these machines which are in use every day for 2 weeks.

      The only "running" count anyone can get on these machines during an open election is the public counter which tells us how many times the voter access card was fed into the card reader.  That count isn't even how many times the "Cast Ballot" button was pushed, but how many times a voter access card went through the reader.

      So, if a voter goes to the machine, inserts the card and increments the counter but gets the wrong ballot, the card is ejected (the counter is not decremented) and a new card is programmed.  The count is not even true to votes cast.

      •  Jeez... (none)
        Okay, I believe you.

        I don't understand how election board officials ever approved something so hokey.  

        You could hold an entire election that way and find out only at the end that none of the votes registered.  That's ridiculous!

        Somebody must have scratched an awful lot of backs.

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