Who Really Won?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Guinea Pigs and Bugs

The corporate media doesn't have time to cover this one, besides election disasters are routine these days....

Maryland's new electronic voter check-in system, which poll workers across the region reported would abruptly shut down and reboot during Tuesday's primary, had never been used before during an election, the manufacturer acknowledged yesterday.

At one Baltimore precinct, poll worker Al Samples, a 38-year-old computer scientist, said he could not prevent the three small check-in stations made by Diebold Election Systems Inc. - called e-poll books - from suddenly turning off. The machines crashed about 40 times, he said.

The governor's office said yesterday that it might ask state election officials to abandon the new equipment during November's general election or at least have a backup paper list of registered voters on hand.

"It should have been disclosed that we were the guinea pigs," said Joseph M. Getty, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s policy director. "Even if we're assured that the bugs are taken care of, that might not be good enough."

Let's take a simple procedure and make it as complicated as possible...

The wires that link the books must be connected in a specific order. After that, one of the poll books is turned on. Then the rest of the chain is activated.

Workers in 30-year-old Sharonda Huffman's Baltimore County precinct did not follow these instructions. With the machines not talking to one another, a voter could potentially sign in on one poll book and vote, and then sign in again - on a different poll book in the precinct - and vote a second time.