Looking into what went wrong when Virginia Beach supporters of Rep. Scott Rigell couldn’t get voting machines to register their choice last November, the state Department of Elections found problems with some touchscreen machines — but not the kind that frustrated Rigell’s backers. Instead, it found such serious problems with another, aging touchscreen device — AVS WinVote — that it thinks the State Board of Elections should consider stopping its use altogether. … In November, dozens of Virginia Beach voters reported that machines were recording their votes for Rigell as votes for his opponent, Suzanne Patrick. The city used 820 touchscreen machines — unlike localities on the Peninsula, it relied on them as its primary means of voting. In Newport News, the two voters who reported problems on Election Day said their votes for Sen. Mark Warner were shown as votes for his GOP opponent, Ed Gillespie. The more serious problems emerged when the consultant audited the WINVote machines in Henrico and Spotsylvania counties, which are different from the machines Virginia Beach and Newport News use.
In Henrico, the audit found embedded errors because the Windows program the machines use had not been updated in nearly 10 years. Problems with power supplies and wireless access reported by Henrico officials seem to be because of the age of the equipment, the consultant found.
In Spotsylvania, where there were consistent, chronic problems with the machines in one precinct, the consultant found the problem was interference with the machines’ wireless communications. The consultant said it could not tell if the interference was intentional or not. The Virginia State Police are investigating.
… Texas-based Advanced Voting Solutions Inc. stopped making voting machines in 2007 after failing to win U.S. Election Commission certification for its equipment, according to VerifiedVoting.org, a nonprofit that lobbies for accurate and secure voting. The company’s phone is disconnected, and its corporate charter has been withdrawn, according to Texas Secretary of State filings.