Friday, June 09, 2006

Diebold Problems on 6/6/06

I've got a ton of stuff that I've wanted to blog over the past several days, but haven't been able to because Blogger kept going down. Maybe it will stay up today.

One of them is problems with Diebold machines in elections all over the country this past Tuesday (June 6), which I first read about on One Utah.

Here is a sampling of blog posts about Tuesday's election:

Debra Bowen (Candidate for Secretary of State in California):

In Kern County, problems with Diebold voting machine access cards created “a nightmare” throughout the morning, resulting in many voters being turned away and told to “come back in a few hours.” In Orange County, broken voting machines and technical glitches were reported at a number of polling places. In San Joaquin County, “people were sent away without casting their ballots in Stockton, Lodi, and Morada.” Other complaints were lodged against Diebold voting tabulators in Los Angeles.

I Dove Into Delete:

So, the middle machine became available and I started selecting my choices from the first page on the touch screen.
I hit the turn the page button and… nothing happened. I hit more into the corner and… nothing. I pushed my finger into the corner like I wanted to dig out any dust and the page turned. Miscalibration of the touch screen I figured but I could see how the first guy took so long… he didn’t want to break the device. I break computers for a living.

So. I didn’t like the outting of my Party affiliation and I could see the guy before me voting due to the layout of the devices.

Left-Handed Leftist:

Here's where it was a little dicey to me and seemed like more tampering could take place here. The online demo made the printing seem very careful and legible and verifiable. However, in reality, there was a flap covering my printer readout area.

I asked the poll worker if I could look at the printout and she flipped the flap up. The window on the readout area was not very clear--it was kind of yellowish and like a thin plastic material. You could see through it, but not that well. And, unlike the online demo, everything didn't print out "just so."

The paper on my printout did not seem to advance quite right--I could read the first choice I had made. Well actually, I should say I could barely read it. The first choice was the first line printed and it barely made it into the window and I couldn't read the second line at all.


Enjoyed reading the Busby/Bilbray article on BradBlog and the questionable election equipment used, since I was working the election as an Assistant Precinct Inspector - Equipment. This is the person responsible for setting up and tearing down the Diebold Touch Screen Voting Stations. I understand that all but 7 CA counties will be using these systems as their main way of voting in November! I don't trust them, and the team that I trained with a week before the election didn't trust them either.

BTW, since I was trained a WEEK before the election, that means I got my two voting stations, 2 printers and cardboard privacy screen right after my training. All this equipment was sitting in my garage for nearly a week, but it was a rule that you couldn't leave the equipment at the poll site if you set up the night before. My neighbors were quite surprised when I showed them one of the touch screen systems from my garage. My Mom was also very surprised that the registrar of voters allowed us to take election equipment home with us.
[name withheld pending approval of emailer]

I'm working on getting some people together to LiveBlogswarm any problems on Primary Election day June 27. If you're interested, e-mail me (bobiscookiemonster AT yahoo dot com).


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