Kentucky: Internet Voting Security: Wishful Thinking Doesn’t Make It True | Duncan Buell/Freedom to Tinker

On Thursday, March 21, in the midst of Kentucky’s deliberation over allowing votes to be cast over the Internet, the daily poll of the Louisville Courier-Journal asked the readers, “Should overseas military personnel be allowed to vote via the Internet?” This happened the day before their editorial rightly argued against Internet voting at this time. One of the multiple choice answers was “Yes, it can be made just as secure as any balloting system.” This brings up the old adage, “we are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts.” The simple fact is that Internet voting is possible – but it is definitely NOT as secure as some other balloting systems. This is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of fact. Votes cast over the Internet are easily subject to corruption in a number of different ways.

Voting Blogs: Richland County’s Breakdowns: Mechanical or Managerial? | Election Academy

Richland County, SC has emerged as one of the jurisdictions with the worst and longest lines on Election Day 2012. In the aftermath, County has been struggling to figure out both what went wrong and who, if anyone, should be held responsible. The County’s problems have been traced to a shortage of voting machines; in a post-election report, University of South Carolina professor Duncan Buell found that in 2012 there were hundreds fewer machines available than in 2010 despite a 28% greater turnout.

South Carolina: More uncounted votes discovered in Richland County |

Two days after Richland County election officials assured their bosses and the public that all votes had been counted, they learned that a voting machine from the Lincolnshire precinct, stored in a warehouse after the election, contained 27 uncounted votes. The notice came not from keen-eyed election officials but from a USC computer science professor who analyzes elections and who happened to be a poll watcher at Lincolnshire, a precinct off Monticello Road north of I-20. The analysis by professor Duncan Buell also found that in addition to the machine used by curbside voters at Lincolnshire, votes in six machines at six other precincts might not have been counted.

South Carolina: Analysis: Richland had 185 fewer voting machines than 2010 |

Richland County had 185 fewer voting machines this November compared to two years ago despite 16,300 more people at the polls, according to an independent analysis from an elections expert released Friday. Nearly three out of four precincts had fewer machines than two years ago, contributing to 12 percent of the 121,200 ballots cast after the polls closed at 7 p.m. this year, according to Duncan Buell, a University of South Carolina computer science professor who specializes in electronic voting systems. Just 2 percent of ballots were cast late in 2010. PDF: Election Report

South Carolina: Vote-counting expert, former voting machines’ technician detail possible missteps in Richland County’s election |

Planning Richland County’s 2012 election didn’t require rocket science, yet the ship exploded. Critics – which is pretty much everyone – say last week’s voting was an utter mess. Election Day was entwined with unmatched voter frustration, people who walked away because of long lines, vote-counting delays, lawsuits, ballot seizures, an election protest and recriminations about the motives of some county election officials. Early voters, trying to get a jump on Tuesday’s election, lined the sidewalk on Harden street at the Richland County administration building all day on Monday.

National: Electronic voting 2012: Here we go again | Marketplace

Elections come and go and many issues change, but one seems to remain: electronic voting. Two years ago, four years ago, eight years ago — the story’s been about the same: the machines don’t seem ready for primetime, but we’re using them anyway. This week, the official verdict came back on some electronic vote-reading machines in the South Bronx that seemed a little fishy in the last congressional election, 2010. Larry Norden is with the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU and says sometimes the voting machine “was essentially overheating and because it was overheating, it was reading a lot of phantom votes — a vote that the voter didn’t actually cast, but that the machine saw.” The upshot is that in some districts in the Bronx, it turns out more than a third of votes weren’t counted. Things could get really scary in a state that’s gone all electronic, like South Carolina. University of South Carolina computer scientist Duncan Buell is worried for 2012: “I’m not sure there’s any real change from four years ago to now.” Seriously? What’s taking so long?

South Carolina: Audit finds anomalies in Beaufort County’s 2010 election data |

An audit of the 2010 election released late last month by the S.C. League of Women Voters shows a few irregularities in data from Beaufort County’s voting machines. County elections executive director Scott Marshall said he’s not yet certain how many votes might have been affected by problems, but he said that number is small enough that it wouldn’t have affected any results.

Nonetheless, Marshall said irregularities in the data are “unacceptable” and said he will work to understand what caused them. “Anytime there is an opportunity for error in results being reported, I’m concerned about it,” he said. “We want to make sure that we do get it figured out, so we don’t repeat that.”

To perform its audit, the league analyzed the log files stored on memory cards inside county voting machines. “What we have seen around the state is that all the possible things that could go wrong have gone wrong somewhere,” said Duncan Buell, a University of South Carolina computer science professor, who helped lead the project.

South Carolina: Audit Of Election Results Cites Problem In Oconee County SC | WSPA

A recent audit of the 2010 general election results has raised questions about some counties’ ability to account for every vote cast. The audit was commissioned by the South Carolina League of Women Voters and performed by Duncan Buell, a USC computer science professor. Buell says eight counties, including Oconee, had “significant problems” in terms of being able to determine if vote totals were correct. According to Buell, Oconee County failed to save about two-thirds of its audit files: voting data stored on small memory cards – or “flash cards” – that are supposed to be removed from voting machines and uploaded to a central computing system.

“Only about a third of the cast vote records show up in the files,” says Buell. “They’re just missing 2/3 of the vote data which makes it impossible to do a serious audit.”

South Carolina: Audits spotlight 2010 election problems |

Two audits of South Carolina’s November 2010 general election found scores of human errors that led to incorrect vote counts and other problems. None of these errors were large enough to have changed the outcome of a election or referendum, but they were significant enough to prompt the State Election Commission to make several procedural and policy changes. The problems also emboldened the chorus of critics questioning the accuracy, reliability and accountability of the state’s iVotronic voting machines.

And they could prompt the Legislature to lengthen the time period between Election Day and when counties meet to certify the results. That added time would give counties extra time to audit their data before formalizing their tallies. State Sen. Chip Campsen, R-Isle of Palms, has chaired a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee looking at elections and has reviewed the audits’ results. “The problem is these problems were uncovered after the election was certified,” he said. “Once an election is certified, it can’t be undone.”

Barbara Zia, co-president of South Carolina’s League of Women Voters, said the scrutiny of the state’s election system was triggered in part by the June 2010 Senate Democratic primary in which an unknown candidate who didn’t campaign won handily with 60 percent of the vote. The league’s recent audit — which requested information from all 46 counties under the state’s Freedom of Information Act — was an outgrowth of that.

Editorials: Independent vote audit needed in South Carolina | The Post and Courier

During the last legislative session, a Senate judiciary subcommittee heard testimony from the State Election Commission and its critics about problems in the 2010 elections. The committee suggested that the two sides work together to recommend improvements to the process.

So far that hasn’t happened. Critics of the system, including the League of Women Voters, contend that the state’s electronic voting system is inherently flawed. The State Election Commission says the system is functional and that problems experienced in the last general election can be fixed.

Given the continuing disagreement over the electronic voting system, which is used throughout the state, an independent look at the situation is in order. The Legislative Audit Council ought to be given the task. A column on our Commentary page from former Clemson computer science professor Eleanor Hare cites problems with verifying data from the 2010 election.

South Carolina: Audit of 2010 South Carolina Elections Shows Widespread Problems | Free Times

The State Election Commission is auditing voting data from the 2010 statewide elections, and as it does, critics of the state’s iVotronic touch screen voting machines say the government audit is proving there are problems with the system — problems the agency doesn’t dispute.

“They’re admitting that there’s holes in the data,” says Frank Heindel of Mount Pleasant, who runs the watchdog website SCvotinginfo. He adds that the elections agency also admits that there are counties where auditors haven’t been able to obtain proper election data. Emails and comments from agency officials back that up.

“We never received complete data from Charleston … No data is available for Lancaster and Orangeburg,” wrote Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire in one email to Heindel about the ongoing audit. The reason no information was available for Orangeburg was because a computer with the audit data on it there crashed, Whitmire said.