Via Threat Level, news that voting machine software mistakenly recorded nearly double the number of actual votes cast in an election.
Yes, you read that right, almost double!
On Tuesday night, the individual precinct tallies were correct, Pennington County Auditor Julie Pearson said Wednesday.
But when officials combined information from the three ballot scanners for a grand total, a software glitch added thousands of votes.
In reality, only 5,613 ballots were cast in Tuesday's election, not the 10,488 initially reported.
This is an extremely interesting development, in light of the fact that Allegheny County, PA (including Pittsburgh) saw a similar problem last November. Here, our electronic voting machines recorded extra votes all over the county. The Board of Elections still hasn't adequately explained why this happened, nor has it taken any action to solve the problem. In fact, there's evidence that Allegheny's machines generated phantom ballots again -- and in proportions consistent with those found in November -- in May's primary elections.
You can read the full report, as I prepared it, here.
Granted, the size of the problem here in Allegheny County is much smaller; hundreds of extra votes out of several hundred thousand, versus almost double the count in Pennington County SD. Also, we use purely electronic (DRE, in the jargon) systems here, while Pennington uses optical-scan.
But guess who made the software used in Pennington? That's right, ES&S, the same company that produced the software we use here.
So, to recap, we now have multiple confirmed reports that voting systems running ES&S software add extra "phantom" ballots, without any official explanation. What is it going to take for their software to get decertified?
More importantly, when is Allegheny County going to replace its DREs with a paper-based system? Pennington County was able to double-check its results when they were called into question -- because they had a paper trail. Without the paper trail, all that's left is uncertainty and mistrust. That's what we have now. (thanks to ge0rge for helping point this out)