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How Voting Machines Can Fail

Sequoia Voting Systems say their touch-screen machinesprovide "nothing less than 100% accuracy." But when theydemonstrated their new paper-trail electronic votingmachines for the California state senate, they found themachines failed to record votes from testers usingSpanish-language ballots. These omissions wouldn?t have beendiscovered without the paper trail. In wired.com, Kim Zetter quotes election consultant DarrenChesin as saying, "We did it again and the same thinghappened?The paper trail worked flawlessly, but it caught amistake in the programming of the touch-screen machineitself. For some reason it would not record or display thevotes on the Spanish ballot for these two ballot measures.The only reason we even caught it was because we werelooking at the paper trail to verify it."

Sequoia spokesman Alfie Charles says, "It was our fault fornot proofing the Spanish language ballot beforedemonstrating it. We had a demo ballot that we designed in ahurry?That would never happen in an election environmentbecause of all the proofing that election officials do?Ifthis happened in an election, the first voter would see itand could call a poll worker. They would take the machineout of service if they saw a problem."

"We've been saying all along that these things are subjectto glitches," says Chesin. "The bottom line is that thepaper trail caught the mistake. Ergo, paper trails are agood idea."

We want to make sure ourintentionsare correctly recorded!

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