Serious Error in Diebold Voting Software Caused Lost Ballots in California County

An investigation shows that the paper mail-in ballots were scanned properly by officials into the central-count optical-scan system made by Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems) -- a receipt printed out by the machine at the time they were scanned on November 1, three days before the election, indicates that the machine recorded the ballots. The ballots even showed up in preliminary tallies counted on election night on November 4 ... Full Story »

Posted by Mike LaBonte
Tags Help
Subjects: U.S., Politics, Extra
Topics: Presidential Election 2008, Election Reform, Best of 2008
Editorial Help
Posted by: Posted by Mike LaBonte - Dec 9, 2008 - 5:54 AM PST
Edit Lock: This story can be edited
Edited by: Derek Hawkins - Dec 31, 2008 - 12:49 PM PST

Reviews

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Dwight Rousu
4.7
by Dwight Rousu - Dec. 10, 2008

Zetter provides a clear description of the discovery of the problem and an intuitively clear idea of the programming cause of the problem. Followup to some other regions using the Diebold/Premier software is also presented. Logs are shown not to be logs. There is, unfortunately, no indication if is being used in Minnesota.

The proprietary "secret" software being used to count public election results is a major travesty against open and honest elections. Software in balloting machines and vote counting systems must be open for public audit.

See Full Review » (13 answers)
Mike LaBonte
4.3
by Mike LaBonte - Dec. 10, 2008

This is how election problem stories should be written. Complete details, clear explanations, interviews from every angle, links to sources, and it doesn't use the word "glitch" at all. Context includes a few other states and clarification that this is not the same bug as another Premier bug.

See Full Review » (11 answers)
Philippe Habib
4.6
by Philippe Habib - Dec. 13, 2008

A lot of the articles about machine counting of votes report worries and concerns that computer science people have about the machines. This one reports in detail about an actual problem, how it occurs, and how it was identified. Excellent article!

See Full Review » (11 answers)
Douglas Hord
4.0
by Douglas Hord - Dec. 16, 2008

Again, a red hot topic and it's given a news summary treatment. What gives?

See Full Review » (11 answers)
Gregory Kruse
3.8
by Gregory Kruse - Dec. 10, 2008

While it might be of great interest to those who distrust voting machine companies, especially Diebold, it doesn't deliver a story of much importance. The information is factual and the presentation fair, but the subject matter itself doesn't rise above the arcane and incidental. This is a good local story about good public servants that got amplified by the internet. I rated this work fairly low because of that, not because the writer didn't do an excellent job of writing and investigating.

I agree with one of the commentators on the site that it's puzzling that there should be ANY problems with a simple counting system enhanced with security. I believe that internet voting is the wave of the future, and security for voting online shouldn't be any harder than securing your online banking account or online credit card payments.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
Joel Kulenkamp
4.7
by Joel Kulenkamp - Dec. 9, 2008

This is a very well-detailed, well thought-out article that chronicles the problems with Premier/Diebold Inc.'s Global Election Management System software (also known as GEMS) from touch-screen and optical-scan voting machines. I particularly like how it describes over-deleting the various "decks" of ballots (in some cases, not existing in the first place!) as well as the document for the working solution.

I've worked as an election official (pert-time) for 13 years in Menomonie, Wisconsin, so I have a front-row seat to this, though thankfully we haven't had issues quite this severe.

See Full Review » (7 answers)
David Cunningham
5.0
by David Cunningham - Dec. 10, 2008

standard of research and sourcing

worried

See Full Review » (5 answers)

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