A software flaw can be just as damaging to the voting process as a hacker. That much is clear in Texas, where some early voters have claimed that machines are changing their votes in the midterm election. Keith Ingram, the Texas Director of Elections, said in an advisory that the problem is happening because voters are jumping the gun. The issue crops up if a voter selects the “straight party ticket” option, and then keeps pressing buttons before the page finishes loading on the screen, he said. “As a reminder, voters should always carefully check their review screen before casting their ballots,” Ingram said. … Electronic voting machine experts should expand their focus beyond looking for the kinds of flaws a hacker could exploit, and start looking for flaws that just make machines malfunction, said voting machine security expert Dan Wallach, a computer science professor at Rice University. “I would say that a decade ago we put a lot of focus on security bugs” he said. “Glitches have never received the same degree of attention.”
If Texas election officials are right about what’s causing the votes to change, Wallach said, the problem isn’t with voters moving too quickly. Instead, it’s a flaw in the software that needs fixing. “It should not be possible simply by voter impatience for the machine to flip the vote,” Wallach said.
…Voters’ complaints also showcase one more reasonin the voting process, said Marian Schneider, president of voting integrity advocacy group Verified Voting. “It just causes a lot of doubt in the voting systems, and it underscores why they need to be replaced,” Schneider said.
For now, any machine that does malfunction should be taken out of service to be inspected, and voters should be provided with paper ballots in the meantime at that precinct — enough paper ballots to last for “several hours of voting” if necessary, Schneider said.
Full Article: Software bugs could compromise midterm votes in Texas – CNET.