[E-voting] Lost e-votes could flip Napa County race (fwd)

Justin Mason jm at jmason.org
Wed Mar 17 04:52:15 GMT 2004


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Another incident -- this one in a scanned-ballot system. Note that this
one was detected and can be recounted thanks to a paper trail.

- --j.

- ------- Forwarded Message

Date:    Wed, 17 Mar 2004 04:34:44 +0000
From:    "comp.risks (via sitescooper)" <rssfeeds at jmason.org>
To:      jm at jmason.org
Subject: Lost e-votes could flip Napa County race

URL: http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/go/risks/23/27/7
Date: Not supplied

<Prev[1] | [Index][2] | Next>[3] *Lost e-votes could flip Napa County 
race* PGN <"Peter G. Neumann" <neumann at csl.sri.com>> _Mon, 15 Mar 
2004 13:45:11 PST_ 

One Sequoia Optech electronic machine used to count optical-scan 
paper absentee ballots in the 2 March 2004 California primary in Napa 
County failed to record votes on some ballots. This was detected by 
chance in a random 1% recount. As a result, the county will re-scan 
over 11,000 ballots, which could possibly change the results of some 
close local races. The machine was miscalibrated to detect 
carbon-based ink, but not dye-based ink commonly used in gel pens. 
(The pre-test was done only with carbon-based ink.) [Of course, the 
random test might not have noticed other machines that were similarly 
miscalibrated. PGN] 

Kim Alexander said the county was lucky that the problem occurred on 
a system with a paper trail. "If the problem had occurred with their 
electronic ballots or with the tabulation software (which sits on the 
County server), they would have been hard pressed to reconstruct 
their election. Or, they might not have ever known there was a 
problem at all. If they were doing the manual count on the electronic 
ballots there would be no record to look at to determine what the 
accurate vote count should be."
[Source: Kim Zetter, Wired News, 12 Mar 2004; PGN-ed]
http://www.wired.com/news/politics/0,1283,62655,00.html 

<Prev[4] | [Index][5] | Next>[6]

[1] http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/go/risks/23/27/6
[2] http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/go/risks/latest
[3] http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/go/risks/23/27/8
[4] http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/go/risks/23/27/6
[5] http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/go/risks/latest
[6] http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/go/risks/23/27/8



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