Saturday, November 04, 2006

Checking on Texas Election Woes - Update 2

Updates at the botton.

Well, my checking with early voting election workers I know show they are not aware of the dropped vote for Chris Bell problem. No one else has reported it in two EV locations. They say there are problems with people hitting cast ballot too early or not hitting it at all. We'll see how it goes election day.

I just came from latest 3 hours training on eSlate. The Harris County machines are claimed to be better than most black box machines with 3 separate cards holding the ballots. They don't have anything like the California machines with a button on them that permits anyone to vote multiple times or the Florida machines that can be programmed to allow bad ballots in Democratic precincts but give a redo for Republican precincts. I would be more concerned with the Diebold GEM software [video] they use to count the votes.

Continued problems reported in Jefferson and Hardin counties with touch screen machines. Always Democratic votes being turned into Republican. The official explanation is long fingernails register a vote for the incumbent listed above the Democrats. If not that the problem is machines that need recalibrating.

Update again - I may have spoken too soon on the better reliability of the machines Harris county uses. I just watched a documentary that included a demonstration on where the memory cards that actually hold the votes can be set up ahead of time to subtract votes from some candidates and give them to others. This was on an actual voting machine used in Florida. Hacking Democracy, which is on HBO now. They also demonstrated the widely known GEM bypass procedures which I think is the more serious threat. Seeing the bald-face lies of Republican election officials and voting machine company representatives should be instructive to people. The voting machines we use here in Harris County are only better because of the three memory cards used at the polling places, not just one. The zero count opening tapes and the closing tapes also proved useless against this memory card hack - displaying 0 votes before the votes when there were both hidden votes and negative votes in the card and then printing the results the hacked card wanted.

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