The Voting News Daily: New York Dems mull recount in 60th. CA GOP challenges provisional ballot signatures

California GOP challenges signatures on provisional ballots…Update on 2 “lost” voting machines in NY..Dems mull recount in New York’s 60th District: “Make no mistake, this is really bad. The state put into law that there has to be a paper trail precisely so that when there are irregularities of exactly the type we’re seeing in…

The Voting News Daily: ‘new’ voting machines turn up in Buffalo. Ballot removal for Minnesota?

US Senate candidate Miller(R)wins delay on Alaska election cert…Palm Beach officials building their case for touchscreen voting, now claim its about disability access…Now That He’s Been Elected, KS Sec. of State-Elect Kris Kobach Can’t Find Any ‘Voter Fraud’…Minnesota GOP lays groundwork to “remove” alleged phantom ballots. Ramsey County says suit should be rejected…2 ‘new’ voting…

Verified Voting Blog: Unique Challenges of Election Administration

For most Americans the election has been over for two weeks, but for the state and local officials tasked with administering elections the process continues. Most jurisdictions are involved in the certification process, during which vote totals are confirmed, absentee ballots are tabulated and the status of provisional ballots are determined. Over half the states conduct a post election audits of some ballots. And of course some jurisdictions are involved in recounts of close contests. Most of the time the demanding work of election officials goes unnoticed and unacknowledged until something goes wrong or comes under the microscope in the politically charged atmosphere of a recount.

The Voting News Daily: Palm Beach to ‘retry touch-screen voting’? NC election protest cites vote flipping

Brad Friedman writes “Why Joe Miller is right to call for a ‘hand count’ in Alaska’s Senate Race”…Clarification – Bridgeport Questions its Legal Authority to Revisit Balloting”…Bad news: “Palm Beach County Elections Chief Susan Bucher wants to retry touch-screen voting” & she promises to lobby legislature to bring back touchscreens…Meanwhile, touchscreen vote flipping was cited…

The Voting News Daily: Bridgeport CT refuses election audit. Recounts everywhere, what are the laws?

AP news says Murkowski won Alaska Senate Race.Miller did not concede..The Connecticut city with too few ballots – “Bridgeport Embarrasses Itself Once Again, Refusing to be Audited”…Will California ever finish counting absentee ballots?..Who Stole Election Day? (Early voting)…Machine recounts in NC 2nd CD. Election fraud charged in Madison,Yancey Co NC..Photo ID proposed in OK and…

The Voting News Daily: In favor of paper ballots,recounts. Internet Voting is ‘an affront to democracy’

Bo Lipari on “Pulling the Lever for Paper”..Virginia needs paper ballots by 2012 to avoid fiasco: “It’s been a few years since Fairfax County got through an entire election cycle without a piece of voting equipment breaking down, a handful of votes vaporizing or an election result being delayed.”..Internet voting is “an affront to democracy..It…

Verified Voting Blog: Pulling the Lever for Paper

The 2010 elections quietly marked a milestone in election technology history. For the first time in over a hundred years, this was the first national election in which mechanical lever machines were not used. Lever machines were at one time so ubiquitous in US culture that the phrase “pull the lever” is still the go-to phrase we use to mean “cast the vote”. Most states made the transition from levers years ago, beginning in the 1980s when the first optical scanners were employed. But in New York State, this election was the first one without levers in a very long time. Fortunately, the new technology the State chose to use is paper ballots and optical scanners,  not paperless electronic voting. And those paper ballots are proving their worth already in several disputed elections around the state.

Media reports of “problems with the new voting systems” really have it the wrong way around. Perhaps it’s because New York isn’t yet used to having an actual paper record of votes, so we don’t yet understand the value of a recount. When outcomes are uncertain or disputed, recounting paper ballots is the best way there is to find out who really won an election. New York’s new ability to count the paper is not a problem, it’s the solution.

The Voting News Daily: Colorado poll watchers need binoculars? Time for a Recount New York

”Election Day has come and gone, but for elections officials across California who must provide complete and accurate results, the election truly does not end until Nov. 30,”~ SoS Debra Bowen..Coloradoans need binoculars to observe processing of mail ballots..CT lawmaker drafts bill requiring 1 ballot per reg. voter..Ga. wants new voters to prove citizenship…100,000 Maryland…

The Voting News Daily: Broken voting machine seals in Putnam TN raise doubts. Clash over recount for NY 1st

In Alaska, the write in votes favor Murkowski so Miller awaits the military ballots..Another bad idea for elections in the Ohio Dayton Daily News: “Unused paper ballots are big waste for Ohio”. The Dayton DN editors should read the New Haven Register editorial: “Scrimping on ballots proved foolish”…Tennessee GOP requests investigation of possible voting machines…

The Voting News Daily: Dust settles on voting machine failures. Beware the Perils of Internet voting

Arizona Pot smokers ‘edgy’: Prop 203 still undecided..Colorado SoS to investigate Saguache County election after discovery of uncounted absentee ballots…Minnesota Recount part 2? Fewer absentee ballot rejections in 2010 vote…Spokane WA County Ballot Copying — Problem?..Six House Races Remain in Limbo..Africa election commission mulls EVMs for “ensuring free elections”..Beware the Perils of Internet Voting says…

The Voting News Daily: Perry Co KY vote flipping. Epstein:”What happens when there’s no recount possible?”

Perry Co KY candidates report voting machine probs: voters would push button & wrong name lit up..John Sebes of TrustTheVote.org on flakey voting machines: “North Carolina Voting Machines Lessons Learned,Part Two” (not just NC)…Expert Jeremy Epstein on Virginia’s paperless voting: “What happens when there’s no recount possible?”…Veterans Day & the MOVE Act…Audio reveals Afghan election…

The Voting News Daily: Fairfax ‘should junk electronic voting machines’. NY Election night-mare

Miller campaign challenges mis-spelled write in votes for Murkowski in Alaska election…IL Appeals court rejects Barrow’s redo effort of ’09 mayoral election…Philadelphia voter forced to swear on Bible before casting vote…Junk the paperless machines: Computer scientist Jeremy Epstein describes his day as a poll worker in Fairfax,VA. “..one of the touch screen machines was crashing…

The Voting News Daily: Spokane must duplicate 30,000 mail ballots. Some elections still too close to call

More bad ideas for Connecticut elections…Rep Tim Bishop wants hand count of 184,000 Long Island 1st dist ballots after vote swing. 10,000 absentee ballots uncounted…Was Stark CO, OH student’s video report of touchscreen vote-flipping just an isolated incident? Brad Friedman reports…Spokane WA officials busy duplicating 30,000 ballots that were damaged, poorly marked or unreadable…Dust Settles…

The Voting News Daily: OH student records Vote flipping on iPhone. Paper vs. Plastic Voting in Houston

California STILL counting absentee ballots..CT,NM, NY having post election audits…Young, Russo file complaint to end electronic voting in Rhode Island…Dan Wallach describes voting experience & struggle to get paper ballot in Houston TX..Parties scramble as recounts loom in several House races..Congrats to Princeton Prof Ed Felton,e-voting expert for appointment as Chief Technologist of the FTC..…

Verified Voting Blog: Paper vs. Electronic Voting in Houston

Back in late August, Harris County (Houston)’s warehouse with all 10,000 of our voting machines, burned to the ground. As I blogged at the time, our county decided to spend roughly $14 million of its $40 million insurance settlement on purchasing replacement electronic voting machines of the same type destroyed in the fire, and of the same type that I and my colleagues found to be unacceptably insecure in the 2007 California Top-to-Bottom Report. This emergency purchase was enough to cover our early voting locations and a smattering of extras for Election Day. We borrowed the rest from other counties, completely ignoring the viral security risks that come with this mixing and matching of equipment. (It’s all documented in the California report above. See Section 7.4 on page 77. Three years later, and the vendor has fixed none of these issues.)

Well, the county also spent the money to print optical-scan paper ballots (two sheets of 8.5″ x 17″, printed front and back), and when I went to vote this morning, I found my local elementary school had eight eSlate machines, all borrowed from Travis County (Austin), Texas. They also had exactly one booth set up for paper ballot voting. After I signed in, the poll worker handed me the four-digit PIN code for using an eSlate before I could even ask to use paper. “I’d like to vote on paper.” “Really? Uh, okay.” Apparently I was only the second person that day to ask for paper and they were in no way making any attempt to give voters the option to vote on paper.

The Voting News Daily: CA has 1 M uncounted mail ballots. AK to hand count write ins. CT gets bad advice

Alaska to hand count 83,000 write-in votes…CA still has est 1-1.4 Million mail ballots to count….Newspaper-Listening to voting vendor, suggests unsafe sophisticated voting system to Connecticut…ES&S apologizes to Alabama probate judges for problems arising when ES&S sent pencils instead of pens to polling places…Georgia’s Tammy Adkins Becomes the New Alvin Greene…Mississippi’s dis-functional elections…Hand recount called…

The Voting News Daily: Widespread Diebold failure in Utah Co UT. Columbia CO NY orders full hand count

Update on Still-Undecided ‘Top-of-Ticket’ Races…They had ballot shortages: Auburn Lake Trails, CA & Ellsworth village,WA insufficient paper ballots created lines & long waits.. MN Recount to start Nov. 29 & end Dec. 14..Columbia County New York began a full hand count of ballots yesterday. Election Commissioner Virginia Martin wants independent check against machine tally…ES&S sofware…

The Voting News Daily: CA,CO mail ballot holdup. CT ballot fiasco. AR, PA voting machine fails. MN recount?

Alameda Cnty CA has 122, 000 ballots to count. Other CA counties still counting mail ballots…Weld, & Arapahoe Cnty CO still processing mail ballots…Bridgeport CT ballot shortage fiasco leaves gov race un-decided…Reduction of polling places in Paulding, GA & Collins TX caused long lines &, long waits for voters…More vote flipping in NC, PA…Sumter SC…

The Voting News Daily: Electronic voting, election problems pour in. MN may see another statewide recount

Why didn’t Bridgeport CT order enough ballots?…Hennepin Co MN reporting error showed 880,000 votes cast instead of 470,470..MN Governor’s Race Likely Headed For A Recount…Nassau County (NY) Suing To Get Old Voting Machines Back..Paper vs. Electronic Voting in Today’s Election in Houston…Google Glitch May Have Sent 700000 People to the Wrong Poll..Colbert Goes ‘Inside’ The…

The Voting News Daily: Vote flipping in Indiana, Maryland, Penn. 10,000 calls to 866OURVOTE

866-OUR-VOTE received over 10,000 calls today. Top states include California, Georgia &Pennsylvania. Some in today’s news. Would you believe Alabama didn’t have enough pens, so used pencils to mark ballots, causing probs? ..Maryland Diebold touchscreens flip votes from GOP to DEM!..California awaits millions of mail ballots..Various probs with epoll books, paper poll books, power outages,…

The Voting News Daily: HAVA scary Halloween. In DC internet voting test, hackers were the GOOD guys

In D.C.’s Web voting test, the hackers were the good guys…HAVA Scary Halloween: Ten years older and deeper in debt, yet far from credible elections..”Ballot boxing: The problem with electronic voting machines” interview w/natl experts..THE UNDEAD UNDEAD VOTER CLAIM…Overdone “undervote” warning in 67 Illinois cnties using Diebold scanners..N. Carolina voting machines hearing today. Court docs…

Verified Voting Blog: In D.C.’s Web Voting Test, the Hackers Were the Good Guys

Last month, the District conducted an Internet voting experiment that resulted in a team from the University of Michigan infiltrating election computers so completely that they were able to modify every ballot cast and all election outcomes without ever leaving their offices. They also retrieved the username and password for every eligible overseas voter who had signed up to participate. The team even defended the system against attackers from China and Iran. More than any other event in recent years, this test illustrates the extreme national security danger of Internet voting.

Though the District’s Board of Elections and Ethics prudently dropped the plan to use the most dangerous parts of the system in Tuesday’s midterms, the board still claims Internet voting is the wave of the future. By contrast, the consensus of the computer security community is that there is no secure Internet voting architecture suitable for public elections. The transmission of voted ballots over the Internet, whether by Web, e-mail or other means, threatens the integrity of the election. Simply fixing the problems identified in the District’s test will not prove the system secure. Almost certainly the next test will discover new vulnerabilities yielding a similar disastrous result.

People frequently ask: If we can bank online, why can’t we vote online? The answer is that because every banking transaction must be associated with a customer, banks know what their customers are doing, and customers get monthly statements that can be used to detect unauthorized transactions. There is no banking equivalent of the requirement for a secret ballot untraceable to the voter. While banks have huge budgets for mitigating security problems, they still lose substantial sums due to online fraud. In addition, while banks may tolerate the costs of online theft, because they save money overall, elections cannot tolerate a “small” amount of vote theft. For more than a decade, computer security scientists have been warning of certain core dangers related to Internet voting. The successful Michigan incursion confirmed many of them.

Verified Voting Blog: Voting Machine Expert Offers Insights on North Carolina “Vote-Flipping”

Douglas Jones is a voting technology expert on the computer science faculty at the University of Iowa who has done extensive study of the ES&S iVotronic direct recording voting machine. In this interview he offers his insights on reports of straight-party voting problems on iVotronics in multiple North Carolina counties. Q: Are you familiar with…

The Voting News Daily: NC GOP sues over touch-screen problems. Beware bogus online ballots in CT, NH

USA Today: A Decade After Florida Fiasco,Voting Remains a Hodgepodge…Paperless e-voting a concern this election..Nearly 1 in 4 voters in Tuesday’s elections will use e-voting systems with no paper records..Voters in Connecticut & New Hampshire beware of bogus online ballots…N.Carolina’s GOP Party filed suit in fed court over touch-screen vote flipping…Internet voting ‘an electronic disaster’…

The Voting News Daily: E-Voting ‘a hopelessly dangerous concept’. NC GOP threatens suit over vote flipping

New database on state recount & audit laws…Verified Voting new map of voting tech in US…IL Dems botch absentee early voting push..NC GOP threatens suit over touch-screen voting machines..NY voter cross fingers…SC voting machines not reliable says Computer Science Prof Dr. Duncan Buell …NM & VA voter reg. databases bogged down…9 voting machines unattended overnight…

The Voting News Daily: E-Voting, E-Nightmare. 3rd NC County has vote flipping. Canada internet vote fiasco

See it on iTunes: Dan Rather’s “Digital Democracy in Doubt”…TX vote flip video is on internet again..3rd NC county reports vote flipping…VerifiedVoting on Vote Flipping & Touch Screen Calibration…NH voters beware internet voting scam…S Carolina voting system needs overhaul..Report vote probs by cell phone 866-OUR-VOTE..Still Time for Overseas Voters to get ballot…Serious system failures in…

National: Vote Flipping and Touch Screen Calibration

Again this election cycle, stories have emerged about “vote flipping”, most notably in Texas, where a video of erratic touchscreen behavior was posted on several sites, and in several North Carolina counties. (link, link, link, link) As voting technology expert Douglas Jones wrote several years ago, it seems unlikely that vote flipping is evidence of intentional hacking. However, these incidents do highlight the lack of transparency of software-generated election results and undermine confidence in elections generally. Vote flipping can be caused by a voter touching the screen in two places, for example resting one hand on the machine while making selections with the other (see pp. 20-22 here), but the most likely cause of “vote-flipping” is miscalibration. As Rice University computer scientist Dan Wallach explains in a post at ACCURATE:

The screen shows pictures of buttons with labels for the various candidates, which the voter selects by touching the screen with their finger. Some voters using these machines have reported problems where they pressed the button for one candidate and a different candidate was selected. These issues are most likely the result of poor touchscreen calibration rather than any security problems with the voting machines’ software.

The clear, touch-sensitive layer is separate from the part of the screen that displays the buttons. The thickness of the touch-sensitive layer directly implies that when different voters are looking at the screen from different angles, they will naturally want to touch the screen at different locations. This can be partly addressed by “calibrating” the touchscreen in advance. The calibration process, familiar to anyone who owns a PDA, involves the machine displaying a series of cross-hairs and asking the user to press on the center of each cross-hair. The machine then computes a correction to ensure that selections are mapped to the correct part of the screen below. Of course, if the calibration was done incorrectly, or even if the voter is notably taller or shorter than the person who did the calibration, then presses on the screen might still be misinterpreted. Furthermore, different voters may use different parts of their finger (ranging from the fingernail to the whole finger), which may differ from how the system was calibrated. (See also “Touch Screen Usability: Election Edition!” and “Vote Flipping and Touchscreens“) Vote flipping was investigated in several articles during the 2008 election cycle. Computerworld interviewed both voting machine vendor and election integrity activists for “Are design issues to blame for vote ‘flipping’ in touch-screen machines?” and Wired magazine posted an article about the potential for maliscious calibration as detailed in the Ohio EVEREST report.

The Voting News Daily: NV touchscreens flip votes. Internet voting security debate grows. Ontario i-vote probs

Security debate grows over Internet voting: “Nobody knows how to conduct an election that is immune to the kinds of attacks we in the security community know how to do..We can’t have our election systems exposed to cyberattacks.” ~ David Jefferson, computer scientist @ Lawrence Livermore Natl Lab. & VerifiedVoting.org chair…Vote flipping in Clark Co…