Who Really Won?

Monday, February 14, 2005

Isolated Pro Bush Incident "Explained"

The maker of Franklin County's election machines has pinpointed the error that made a laptop computer give thousands of extra votes to President Bush on election night: Just like any overworked and distracted human, the machine was trying to do too much at once.

The mistake, caught several days after the election, had Bush receiving 4,258 votes in a precinct in the Columbus suburb of Gahanna where only 638 voters cast ballots. The corrected official count showed 365 votes for bush.

The uncapitalized bush is in the article, not a comment from here.

Then the simple explanation of this isolated incident follows:

Since December, Damschroder has said the error occurred when cartridges from individual voting machines were inserted into a reader connected to a laptop that sends data over secure lines to a central computer.

Danaher Controls, the voting machine manufacturer based in Gurnee, Ill., inspected the counting system from beginning to end and agreed that was when the error occurred, then figured out how.

Technicians concluded the laptop was busy completing another task just as numbers from that precinct were being fed into it.

"As a result, the laptop did not receive the data as fast as it was sent," said an elections board report on the probe. "Consequently, data was lost."

Danaher went further, identifying what computer bytes in the data disappeared. By feeding in data missing those bytes, technicians produced the same wrong vote total.

Makes sense, eh?