A supposed malfunction of the problematic and much-debated Sequoia AVC Advantage voting machines is being chalked up to human error. Results from Primary Election day last month puzzled two candidates who expected the exact opposite. Less than a month later, there’s a line in the sand being drawn between a second election and inspection of the voting machine itself.
“On Election Day, the votes cast for Candidates Vivian and Mark Henry registered for Candidates Cynthia and Ernest Zirkle, respectively,” read a statement addressed to all affected by the Democratic County Committee election in Fairfield.
According to documents provided to The News, Cumberland County Board of Elections Director Lizbeth Hernandez takes responsibility and regrets a pre-election programming error. Attached to a legal petition filed by the Zirkles were 28 affidavits from voters swearing they supported the two candidates. Those 28 votes of the 43 total cast on June 7 make up the majority.
… Hernandez could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon. In the letter, she states she has been programming this model of touch-screen voting machines since 2006. She states she made an error inputting the data that caused the votes to register for the other candidate. The voting machine cartridge was created, inserted and tested by technicians.
“Like me, these voting machine technicians are human and did not catch the error that I had made.
… An inspection of the other 91 voting districts in the county revealed “no discrepancies neither in the programming nor election results.” The petition filed by the Zirkles asked for, among other things, the Sequoia machine used at the Fairfield Township polling place be impounded.
… Princeton-based Coalition for Peace Action Chair Irene Goldman has been in touch with the Zirkles and involved in situations similar to this before.
“There is no way for the voter to prove that they have cast their votes as intended, nor is there any way to have a recount or audit of the elections,” Goldman said in 2008 of the elusive paper trail. At fault here, according to the petition, is the failings of the touch-screen voting machine.
In Feb. 2010, Superior Court Judge Linda Feinberg ruled the state’s 11,000 voting machines were to be examined and evaluated. A paper ballot, that could be cross referenced with election results, was not part of the ruling, and some have been fighting for one with every lockstep of the way.
Princeton University Department of Computer Science Chair Andrew Appel published “The New Jersey Voting-machine Lawsuit and the AVC Advantage DRE Voting Machine.” In it, Appel and fellow contributors state the Sequoia machine can be easily manipulated and the solutions reached following the Feb. 2010 ruling can also be bypassed.
Full Article: “Human error” found in Fairfield election results | NJ.com.