This piece from govtech.com is enlightening, insofar as it reports the countless “problems” thwarting voters who used DRE e-voting gadgets on Election Day.
However, it’s also misleading, since it leaves us with the false impression that op-scans are vastly preferable, since they count actual ballots, while DRE machines don’t use paper, the “votes” thereon being only electronic signals.
While it is surely true that having paper ballots is much preferable to having none, it is not really true–not here on Earth, in the United States today–that op-scans are more “trustworthy” than DRE’s.
“If the system fails,” this piece assures us, “the votes can still be recounted.” Well, when op-scans are doing the counting, how do we even know when “the system fails”? It may be “failing” drastically, throughout Election Day, by miscounting, not counting and/or creating votes. How can anyone tell?
Moreover, to assert that “the votes can still be recounted” glosses over the distressing fact that ballots counted by the op-scans can’t all be recounted, one by one. The laws dictate that, if there’s any question vis-a-vis the outcome of a given race, you can conduct an audit–which is not a manual recount of the ballots, but an examination of a very small percentage (1% or 2% or maybe 3%, depending where you are) of
the vote. That sort of exercise is largely useless as a check on fraud.
What we need, therefore, is to get rid of computerized voting. Period. And, as well, we need a total ban on the participation of all private companies in our elections.
Electronic Voting Machines Continue to Cause Problems for Election Day
By Sarah Rich
As predicted, the Nov. 2 elections brought forth myriad electronic voting machine glitches and confusion about emergency backup procedure.
In North Carolina, voters struggled with electoral party selection on direct recording electronic (DRE) voting
machines: Republican voters claimed they tried to vote for a Republican candidate, but the voting machine
selected the Democratic Party choice. The Republican Party responded by filing a lawsuit against the state
Board of Elections. In Utah, voting machines malfunctioned due to a programming error with voter cards.
Pam Smith, president of Verified Voting, a nonprofit organization, said many of last week’s voting machine
glitches stemmed from calibration problems, noting a few instances when machines would need recalibration:
if a constituent tried to vote for candidate A and the machine showed candidate B or C as being selected, as
was the case in North Carolina; and if voters touched the machine screens with their finger and fingernail simultaneously and it registered the vote selection incorrectly.