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Diebold Finally Admits its Voting Machines Drop Votes

By Bruce Schneier | Premier Election Solutions, formerly called Diebold Election Systems, has finally admitted that a ten-year-old error has caused votes to be dropped.

It’s unclear if this error is random or systematic. If it’s random — a small percentage of all votes are dropped — then it is highly unlikely that this affected the outcome of any election. If it’s systematic — a small percentage of votes for a particular candidate are dropped — then it is much more problematic.

Ohio is trying to sue:

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner is seeking to recover millions of dollars her state spent on the touch-screen machines and is urging the state legislature to require optical scanners statewide instead.In a lawsuit, Brunner charged on Aug. 6 that touch-screen machines made by the former Diebold Election Systems and bought by 11 Ohio counties “produce computer stoppages” or delays and are vulnerable to “hacking, tampering and other attacks.” In all, 44 Ohio counties spent $83 million in 2006 on Diebold’s touch screens.

 

In other news, election officials sometimes take voting machines home for the night.

My 2004 essay: “Why Election Technology is Hard.”

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