Sequoia's Optical Scan Vote Counting Machines Giving Different Results Every Time

from the well-that's-reassuring dept

Remember the election mess in Palm Beach, Florida from last month? The one where votes seemed to be randomly disappearing, and each recount came up with different results? Originally the blame was put on the fact that different scanning machines from e-voting firm Sequoia, would somehow count the votes differently. That seemed scary enough, and Sequoia protested, insisting that it was all human error. However, when human errors happen every time the machines are used, it's time to suggest that the real problem is with the machines.

Wired is running a long, and somewhat scary, report about the ongoing situation in Palm Beach, where every time the votes are counted, a different vote count comes out. A test was set up by the local newspaper to scan a sampling of ballots, and every time the results of those tests were different -- sometimes in extreme ways. Quite often, the machines seemed to count perfectly marked ballots as invalid, while at other times it accepted votes from invalid ballots. In other words, the machines basically don't work. And we're relying on them in many areas for the election coming up in a month. Isn't that comforting?
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Filed Under: e-voting, florida, human error, palm beach
Companies: sequoia


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  1. identicon
    Overcast, 8 Oct 2008 @ 9:43am

    Oh it's just numbers, how big of a deal can that be? So it can't exactly count right, like my old VIC20.

    Just a small 'technicality'.

    I mean, seriously, how hard it is to make a program to tally something?

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