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United States Government Politics

Colorado Decertifies E-voting Machines 169

Posted by kdawson
from the sudden-outbreak-of-common-sense dept.
mamer-retrogamer writes "On December 17, Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman decertified election equipment used by 64 Colorado counties, including machines made by Premier Election Solutions, formerly known as Diebold Election Systems. A report issued by the Secretary of State's office details a myriad of problems such as lack of password protection on the systems, controls that could give voters unauthorized access, and the absence of any way to track or detect security violations. Manufacturers have 30 days to appeal the decertification."
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Colorado Decertifies E-voting Machines

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  • by User 956 (568564) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @03:32PM (#21743428) Homepage
    Colorado Decertifies E-voting Machines

    Bad move. Everyone knows that lack of suffrage for machines is one of the catalysts of the machine uprising.
    • by rickb928 (945187)
      Bah! I'll take on a Diebold voting machine any day. Hell, I'll take on hundreds of them.

      I'm more worried about Mother... But she's busy with the politicians.

  • I love it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradis@p ... t ['ay.' in gap]> on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @03:35PM (#21743462) Homepage Journal
    Quote: formerly known as Diebold Election Systems . . . Funny how some companies change their name and expect to carry on their shady, underhanded, public-trust-violating business practices with few or no consequences. Wonder how often this happens in other industries related to government contracting.

    • Re:I love it. (Score:5, Informative)

      by jackpot777 (1159971) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @04:19PM (#21744146)

      Wonder how often this happens in other industries related to government contracting.


      Dig around on SourceWatch [sourcewatch.org]. Here's what I found:

      BearingPoint was formerly KPMG Consulting Inc., the consulting division of the huge accounting firm KPMG LLP that was brought down in the Enron/Arthur Anderson scandal of 2002. In July of 2003, BearingPoint was awarded a contract by USAID worth $79.5 million to facilitate Iraq's economic recovery with a two-year option worth a total of $240,162,688

      Amoco got rid of its company name when it merged with British Petroleum, greenwashing their hands of the Amoco Cadiz oil spill.

      Just for the sheer cheek of it all, the Astroturf page [sourcewatch.org] gives you cause to ponder at just how amoral businesses can be.

      • by Steve Hamlin (29353) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @05:56PM (#21745556) Homepage

        Bearing Point: I realize you're just quoting from SourceWatch, but both they and you have it wrong, and you're removing the limited context that they had.

        the huge accounting firm KPMG LLP that was brought down in the Enron/Arthur Anderson scandal of 2002

        No, ARTHUR ANDERSEN was the huge accounting firm that failed due to Enron. KMPG Consulting just bought a piece of the corpse: mostly the U.S./Western Europe operations of the business consulting unit of Arthur Andersen (AABC).

        More detail:

        The consulting division of KPMG-U.S. was spun of as a separate U.S. public company in early 2001. They then started acquiring other consulting companies (some of them from KPMG-Brazil, KPMG-Japan, etc - all separate accounting partnerships that really are not the same company as KPMG-US.)

        In addition, they would also buy smaller (non-KPMG branded) consulting firms.

        Arthur Andersen LLP had spun off Andersen Consulting in 1989. Again, two separate companies. After that split (and subsequent protracted litigation between Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting to the tune of $billions), Arthur Andersen started a consulting divison again, called AABC.

        After Arthur Andersen fell apart as a result of Enron, different companies started buying up different pieces of Arthur Andersen - by country and by business unit. In the U.S., AABC that was part of Arthur Andersen-U.S. was purchased by KPMG Consulting, Inc. (the relatively new separate public company).

        By this point, KPMG Consulting had acquired tons of firms, people, accounts, etc, and re-branded themselves as Bearing Point.

        KMPG != Arthur Andersen

        • I think a good term for that would be capital laundering. The basis of any corporation is capital. AA behaved criminally. Just as some random drug lord's property can be seized by the state, it should, in fairness, work the same way for a corporation. If a corporation is deserving of rights, then its investors deserve to be punished for wrong-doing as well (not just a convenient figurehead or lieutenant). That should be done by the state, the same as it is for individuals. All shares seized, people in
          • ...and what actually happened is almost exactly what you described. [wikipedia.org] Your wish has already be granted.

            Arthur Andersen LLP, a large partnership, was criminally convicted at the federal level of obstruction of justice. It lost licenses to practice accounting at the state and federal (SEC) level. The entity was and is facing many lawsuits with potential damages in the $millions or $billions. The company itself, which is not yet bankrupt or dissolved, has under 200 employees, mostly concerned with handli

      • You need to get your accounting firms straight. KPMG/Bearing Point had nothing to do with Arthur Andersen or Enron. Several local offices of KPMG hired personnel formerly from Arthur after the firm disbanded.
      • by bogjobber (880402)

        Don't forget Altria [wikipedia.org], formerly known as Phillip Morris. They changed their name after all the smoking lawsuits were settled in 2003.

    • Accenture is author anderson software, which is the same group that did Texas Style Acccounting. Changed their name to protect the guilty.

      In fact, the vast majority of the contract firms change their name every decade or so.
  • by davidwr (791652) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @03:37PM (#21743506) Homepage Journal
    Might as well get this over with...

    Any machine they get must be better than what they used before 2000.

    The main problems with 20th-century machines were:

    * some were prone to jamming, losing votes, or having impossible-to-read votes
    * most were impossible for the blind or severely-mobility-impaired to use without someone else seeing their vote.

    E-voting attempted to fix both of these problems and did so quite well.

    The problems are that they did not maintain the good things about most existing voting systems:

    * privacy of the vote
    * what was cast was what was counted - voter-verified paper trail
    * transparency of the vote-counting process
    * ability to do a completely manual recount in a transparent manner

    Compromise these and you are worse than what you had before.
    • by CastrTroy (595695) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @03:42PM (#21743598) Homepage
      I have some better replacement criteria. All voting machines should be replaced with pen and paper. The counting should be done by people. Works just fine up here in Canada. Sure it's not perfect, but it seems to have way less problems than voting machines.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by palegray.net (1195047)
        Seems like we have to choose between two different categories of risks. We get to tolerate either:

        (1) Closed electronic voting systems that suffer from numerous problems, such as lack of accountability. No way to tell if the company producing the systems and collecting the data was paid to alter the results.

        (2) Pen and paper voting systems that suffer from numerous problems, such as lack of accountability. No way to tell if the guys collecting and tabulating the ballots were paid to alter the results.
        • by Sparr0 (451780) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @04:14PM (#21744064) Homepage Journal

          No way to tell if the guys collecting and tabulating the ballots were paid to alter the results.
          How about you WATCH them? Make ballot counting committees of multiple people from each political party and force them to count together and check each others' counts, and make the entire process a public event. Hold it in a high school gym, let [up to] a thousand interested citizens watch. I live in a voting precinct of about 10k people, and I know at least 50 of them would show up to watch this, out of a sense of civic duty or even just curiosity. ONE of those people is going to notice if some ballots marked A end up in the box for ballots marked B, and any of them can compare the scoreboard totals from their event with the reported totals for the next step up the chain of accumulation, probably available online and in a newspaper.
          • by Black-Man (198831)
            Yeah... that watching the counters sure did wonders in Chicago in the 60's/70's/80's when election stealing w/ PAPER BALLOTS was the norm. Paper trail is a bunch of BS. Elections were stolen w/ a paper trail - what difference does it make??

          • by jeti (105266)
            In theory, this is exactly how it works in Germany. In practice, no one seems to be too interested. The counting is mostly done by teachers and other state employees that couldn't shirk the task. I recently volunteered to help out and I think everybody who cares about democracy should do so, too.
             
            • by koh (124962)

              I recently volunteered to help out and I think everybody who cares about democracy should do so, too.


              And in doing so, if there had been fraud, maybe, just maybe, you'd have noticed it. You're Internet-savvy and you can post your opinion and proof worldwide. There are more people like you in your country than you think. GP has a good point.

        • by Chris Mattern (191822) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @04:18PM (#21744120)

          (2) Pen and paper voting systems that suffer from numerous problems, such as lack of accountability. No way to tell if the guys collecting and tabulating the ballots were paid to alter the results.


          Unless, of course, you have representatives of all the candidates present at all times while the votes are handled. You know, *the way every proper pen-and-paper balloting system works.*

          Chris Mattern
          • by Sique (173459)
            Why restricting it to affiliates of the candidates? Just let everyone watch the count who wants to watch! There is nothing secret about a vote count.
            • No, if you don't have some kind of control over who gets in, the resulting mob scene isn't going to help maintain proper security or accountability.

              Chris Mattern
              • by Sique (173459)
                It works fine in Germany or Austria. Counting the vote is public. Everyone can watch.
        • In some countries, each political party on the ballot can have a representative at each poll to make sure no shenanigans take place. There's no such thing as a perfect balloting system, but to claim the old-fashioned pen-and-paper system is somehow critically flawed is not bourne out by the evidence. The problem in the US is a) fear-mongering by companies making electronic voting equipment and b) overly-complex ballots.

          International election observers have never, so far as I'm aware, in countries such as
          • by mpe (36238)
            The problem in the US is a) fear-mongering by companies making electronic voting equipment and b) overly-complex ballots.

            Possibly a bigger problem is people closely connected to either the candidates (or their political parties) being involved in running elections.
        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by RealGrouchy (943109)
          I propose a much better form of direct democracy that will solve all these problems once and for all.

          For each candidate, get a large sack that is heavy enough that it requires exactly half of the electorate to lift it.

          Tie a big, long rope around the sack, and hang the rope from a pulley.

          Put an extension on this rope around a second pulley, and tie the other end of it around the candidate's neck.

          Then let the electors loose. Politicians will be *highly motivated* to not piss off more than half of the electora
        • No way to tell if the guys collecting and tabulating the ballots were paid to alter the results.

          That's been thought of, but I think you're probably trolling by bringing it up. I'll bite anyway since I'm sure some people do think this is a valid concern.

          I'm not sure how it works in other countries but here in Australia each party can send scrutineers to polling places. After polling closes, the scrutineers stand around looking at ballots as they are counted to make sure it's done right. Of c
          • This is pretty much how it works in most former British possessions. England went through a good many reforms over the years as the Commons evolved into a fully elected body via universal suffrage. There were many inequities in the system which were, over a few centuries weeded out. The idea of scrutineers was an important one, allowing parties to look over the shoulder of those counting the ballots, and just as importantly, over each other's shoulders. When you've got four or five party scrutineers han
        • by mpe (36238)
          Pen and paper voting systems that suffer from numerous problems, such as lack of accountability. No way to tell if the guys collecting and tabulating the ballots were paid to alter the results.

          Whilst you might not be able to tell if the people were paid it is quite simple to ensure it dosn't matter. You simply have scruitineers to check. There is only a problem if the count is being carried out in secret by people who are not accountable for their actions.
          If you want a technical solution as well then thes
      • by cwills (200262)
        I live in Boulder County, one of the areas that had the voting machines de-certified..

        We use a pen/paper for marking the ballots. The problem is in the machines that count them..

        Just remember ... the power in voting is not with the people who cast the ballots, but with the people who are counting them.

      • by lymond01 (314120)
        Any vote can be corrupted, but an electronic vote, as of right now, can be corrupted 1) en masse, 2) with no way to recount.

        At least with a paper ballot system, you can always keep recounting the paper ballots, and stuffing the ballot box is more difficult than changing a line of code.
      • You can cheat and mistakes can be made with pen and paper voting, just like with any other voting system. That is not why it is superior.

        But the public can understand the process. You put you X on a piece of paper. The papers are sorted into columns after party and candidate and counted. Every step of the vote counting procedure is completely transparent to ordinary people. If someone cheats or if an error is made, it also happens in a way the public can understand.

        The reliance of what is essentially "
        • by Firethorn (177587)
          But the public can understand the process. You put you X on a piece of paper. The papers are sorted into columns after party and candidate and counted. Every step of the vote counting procedure is completely transparent to ordinary people. If someone cheats or if an error is made, it also happens in a way the public can understand.

          At least in the USA, this would be an incredibly inefficient way to do the counting. We're fond of omnibus balloting.

          I don't remember an election where I had less than a half a d
    • by gardyloo (512791)
      Stop summarizing issues in clear, concise manners! What the hell will we have to argue about at this point?
    • by eln (21727)
      It should be noted that Coffman believes that these problems can be fixed [denverpost.com] in time for 2008 using upgrades and patches, so this is definitely not a death knell for e-voting in Colorado.
  • by N7DR (536428) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @03:39PM (#21743546) Homepage
    I couldn't find a confirmation in TFA as to which companies really had machines decertified. Our local (Boulder) paper reported this morning that of the four companies involved, only Premier/Diebold had *no* certification revoked. So that's rather at odds with the summary. Seeing that I couldn't see any confirmation of the summary's statement in TFA, I suspect that the local paper got it right.
    • by snl2587 (1177409)
      Let's hope, though, that none of the electronic voting machines were certified. Not that paper voting is any more secure. Last I checked, paper burns rather nicely. Maybe we should chisel votes in stone?
    • by Odin's Raven (145278) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @04:02PM (#21743882)

      I couldn't find a confirmation in TFA as to which companies really had machines decertified. Our local (Boulder) paper reported this morning that of the four companies involved, only Premier/Diebold had *no* certification revoked. So that's rather at odds with the summary. Seeing that I couldn't see any confirmation of the summary's statement in TFA, I suspect that the local paper got it right.

      Looks like your local paper got it right - according to this News Release from the Colorado Secretary of State [state.co.us], the results were:

      Premier (formally known as Diebold) All voting equipment submitted for recertification passed.

      Sequoia The optical scan devices, Insight and 400-C, used to count paper ballots both passed, but the electronic voting machines, the Edge II and the Edge II Plus, both failed due to a variety of security risk factors, including that the system is not password protected, has exposed controls potentially giving voters unauthorized access, and lacks an audit trail to detect security violations.

      Hart The optical scan devices, eScan and BallotNow, both failed because test results showed that they could not accurately count ballots. The electronic voting machine, eSlate, passed.

      ES&S The optical scan devices (M 100 and the M650) both failed because of an inability to determine if the devices work correctly and an inability to complete the testing threshold of 10,000 ballots due to vendor programming errors. The electronic voting machine (iVotronic) failed because it is easily disabled by voters activating the device interface, and the system lacks an audit trail to detect security violations.

      Maybe the Colorado Sec of State should go read yesterday's 1,000 pages of bad news: Ohio e-voting report released [arstechnica.com] article over on Ars Technica, then chat with the Ohio Sec of State about the EVEREST Testing Reports [state.oh.us], which document high-risk issues with equipment from all the vendors that were tested (including Premier/Diebold).

  • by sexconker (1179573) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @03:46PM (#21743642)
    Go to polling location.
    Tell attendant your name and address.
    They look you up on a list, and you sign.
    They give you a paper card, you mark your votes, you place it in a locked box.
    It is later hand counted.

    Hand counting doesn't take long (hey herds: think distributed computing), and should always, always, always be an option - never trust the machines.
    If someone wants to vote electronically (old people who can't figure out chads), just give them a touch screen that prints out a physical ballot that they turn in.
    • Hand counting doesn't take long

      Right. The 150,000 votes for three elected offices and eleven measures in the 2007 San Francisco Mayoral election, which were counted by hand, took almost a month to tally. Imagine how long it would have taken if all 450,000 registered voters had submitted a ballot.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by richkh (534205)
        Canadian Federal election, 2004. Paper ballots. 13.5 million votes. Less than 24 hours for results. It's not that hard.
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          In Canada we count votes so fast, we had to create laws against reporting the results so the west coast voters wouldn't be influenced by the results of the east coast voters. That should give everyone a good idea of how quickly votes are counted in Canada.
          • by Blakey Rat (99501)
            Is that hand-counting? Or using Scan-Tron-type counters? Most states in the US currently use some form of electric counter, and we also deliver reports within 3 hours of the polls closing. As a Washingtonian, I kind of wish we had a "shut the f--- up, press" law to prevent them from reporting results before the west coasters have even had a chance to vote.
            • by CastrTroy (595695)
              That's hand counting. Mind you, it's a bit easier, because we usually only have 1 question on the ballot, but I think that helps things a bit.
        • It appears that vote counting is done at the polling stations and only the results are tabulated centrally. Is this true?
        • by JimBobJoe (2758)
          Canadian Federal election, 2004. Paper ballots. 13.5 million votes.

          Correct--Each voter cast one vote (for their MP) multiplied by 13.5 million voters= 13.5 million votes to count.

          2004 US election: State of Ohio, Franklin County. Each voter had 57 choices mulitplied by 560,000 voters= 31,920,000 votes to count.

          One medium sized US county created nearly 3 times the quantity of votes to count that the entirety of Canada did in a federal election. Remember, our elections are quite different down here...pen and p
          • by mpe (36238)
            Correct--Each voter cast one vote (for their MP) multiplied by 13.5 million voters= 13.5 million votes to count.
            2004 US election: State of Ohio, Franklin County. Each voter had 57 choices mulitplied by 560,000 voters= 31,920,000 votes to count.


            With a fair proportion of these you have months to count them. If time really is a factor if you put each vote on a separate physical ballot paper counts can be done in parallel.
    • by afidel (530433)
      That's not far off from what Cuyahoga County Ohio is planning to do for the upcoming primaries. They are proposing to drop the error prone, insecure electronic machines they spent millions on and going to photo-scan sheets similar to those used for basically all standardized testing in the US. The known error rate for those machines is lower than any other technology including double checked hand counting and of course you can always go the hand counting route if you want to because the forms are completely
    • When I walked into my polling place in 2004 and found a computer to vote on, I flipped out. Albeit inside, but I flipped. There was *no* mention that our county would be a place where they would be "testing" these machines, so I was really surprised. The first two things I was suspect of (just based off raw emotion): Won't someone be able to tie this directly back to me, making it a non-secret ballot? and How can I be sure my vote is counting for the right person?

      I'm a computer nerd at heart, and maybe my v
    • Disclaimer: I am not a US voter. I don't have a clue of actual practices here. And it's my bedtime.
      But here is an idea which I think has all the benefits of the electronic system and more security than simple paper vote. Comment.

      1. Voter gets assigned a unique random number upon vote. Receipt is printed with actual vote and assigned random number.
      2. A spreadsheet with all the votes (shuffled for privacy) is put online for public download. Everyone gets to check how their vote got registered without the syst
      • My understanding is that the problem with systems like that is they allow vote blackmail. Once you can prove who you voted for those in a position to exert a coercive influence over you can check you are doing what they told you to do.
        • by jma05 (897351)
          In other words, voter privacy is compromised and I did consider that factor. Disclosure happens only if fraud has happened and only by the voter's choice. And only a small portion of the fraud has to come to light for the elections to be repeated. I can imagine this to be a problem in small populations but not in general election sizes. And if the situation has reached a point where the US civilians already fear retribution for such reporting, much has already been lost. I don't think the current situation
          • by Firethorn (177587)
            . I don't think the current situation is that bad.

            Personally, I don't think about the current situation. I look into the past and see that public voting(people can find out how YOU voted) has indeed caused major problems in the past - people risked their jobs, homes, and lifestyles on the basis of their vote.

            Not believing that human nature has fundimentally changed in the last 200 years, I don't believe in going back.

            The problem with your receipt is that it can be stolen or demanded. Illegal as all heck,
            • by jma05 (897351)
              I don't think you understood what I stated. The whole point of generating a UNIQUE RANDOM number on the receipt was so that it was de-identified. The printing of a receipt can always be made optional by a voter if he think he is under threat by carrying one or for any other reason. In any case, no one showed any interest in this idea. So there isn't any point discussing it further.
    • This is a good thread- a lot of intelligent people are promoting pen and paper, saving me the trouble of typing it all out. Convincing people of the same thing over and over again is really exhausting.
  • by Lookin4Trouble (1112649) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @03:49PM (#21743706)
    Manufacturers have 30 days to submit bribes to appeal the decertification.

    Fixed for ya

    • by SirGarlon (845873)
      I fail to see why the manufacturers deserve any say in this matter. The State of Colorado bought some equipment. Then they tested it and found out that it sucks. They decided not to use it. A waste of taxpayers' money, but other than that I don't see the problem. The manufacturer still got paid, right? Maybe if they expect repeat business they should try making equipment that doesn't suck.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @03:50PM (#21743720)
    The 64 Supervisors of Election voted yea or nea on decertification

    The result was 79-4 for decertification, motion carried
  • Diary is incorrect (Score:3, Informative)

    by Phoenix Rising (28955) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @03:58PM (#21743818) Homepage
    Premier systems are the only ones NOT decertified. This is contradictory to every other decertification and audit performed in other states and brings into question the validity of the testing in Colorado.
  • I'm surprised. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradis@p ... t ['ay.' in gap]> on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @03:59PM (#21743838) Homepage Journal
    So far, nobody's mentioned projects like the Open Voting Consortium [openvotingconsortium.org] in this discussion. This might be a perfect time to point Colorado officials in the right direction. Just a thought...

  • As a Colorado resident, I have to say I wasn't expecting this sort of a move. It seems like most people I talk to about this sort of issue are grossly anti-informed, and try to dismiss anybody talking ill of the new magic electro voting machines must be a luddite incapable of understanding the issues.

    I have been considering rambling for five minutes about voting machines at the next Freak Train in January. (It's an open mic show in Denver at the Bug Theater on a Monday at the Bug Theater.) I was sort of
  • Are the people at Premier Election Solutions fools??? I am sure they think they have great machines.

    SO WHAT?

    There is so much public outcry against their machines, that they had to change their name from Diebold to Premier. Look is it THAT hard to realize that even if their machines are perfect at what they do they have a big image problem and no, changing the name won't solve it.

    You want real intelligent advice, here:

    Go through the YEARS of bad publicity. Pick out the most respectable of the people

  • How about a ballot like this [elections.ca], marked with a pencil? And after you mark it behind a privacy screen, you fold it and present it to a poll worker, who looks at the folded ballot and verifies there is only one, valid ballot and initials it, then hands it back to you and you put it in a simple cardboard ballot box [elections.ca].

    The votes are counted at each polling place by the poll workers, and representatives of each candidate can observe, and it is open to public observation.

    Is this just too simple?

    • by Cajun Hell (725246) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @04:42PM (#21744430) Homepage Journal

      Is this just too simple?
      Well, it sure is deeply flawed. Think: how can someone make a profit on it? At least require that it use a special kind of paper that only my company makes.
      • Not good enough. Someone else might figure out how to make your paper and undercut you. You need to bribe^H^H^H^H^Hcontribute to the proper Congresspersons so that it is written into law that only your paper may be used: all others need not apply. Even better, make it so that any election where your paper is not used is automatically declared null-and-void.

        That's how you guarantee yourself a neverending revenue stream.
  • pencil

    paper

    ovals

    optical scanner

    end of f***ing story

    there is no compelling reason to make voting more complex than that, and any more complexity just means less transparency and more attack vectors for shady characters

    hell, mechanical voting is more complex than that, and has a history of tampering shenanigans

    of course people can still mess with pencil and paper. however, in LESS ways than mechanical or electronic voting

    but you go ahead mr. slow-witted bureaucrat and champion a voting scheme that undermines
    • Oklahoma is like this >= => draw a line to complete the arrow, run it through an optical scanner... why it has to mere difficult than that boggles the mind
      • by lachlan76 (770870)
        It becomes a bit more difficult if you want to do preferential voting. But here (Australia) we just write numbers in the boxes, and we know who the new government is by ten or eleven.
  • what the heck happened with the tags on this story? are they having a conversation now?
    • by dangitman (862676)

      Slashdot tags became self-aware at 2:14am EDT December 19, 2007.

      By the time Slashdot tags became self-aware, they had spread into millions of computer servers across the planet. Ordinary computers in office buildings, dorm rooms, Cowboy Neal's organic antelope farm, everywhere.

  • A report issued by the Secretary of State's office details myriad problems...

    All better.
  • Ample fair warning (Score:3, Informative)

    by tcgroat (666085) on Tuesday December 18, 2007 @09:48PM (#21747634)
    Here's the regulations [state.co.us] (469K pdf) governing the recertification. Neither the recertification nor the requirements is a surprise. This notice is nine months old and resulted from a Denver District Court order issued September 22, 2006 (Conroy v. Dennis, No. 06CV6072, Denver Dist. Ct.). With so much advance warning, no supplier has an excuse for failing certification. The fall-back position? According to the Coloradoan [coloradoan.com], "...[Larimer County Clerk Scott] Doyle said legislators might mandate a statewide mail-in election next year if problems with electronic voting machines cannot be fixed soon."
  • I recall in 2005 the precent voting lines in Denver reached SIX HOURS on a freezing Novemeber day. The cause was that voters were permitted to vote in any precent instead of their home precent and the certified-voters-list was on a web-server instead of a computer printout book. Well you guess it: the server locked up in the first 45 minutes beacuse it was never stress-tested by the vendor.

    Earlier this year a couple of all-mail-in elections took seven days to count. The optical readers crapped out an

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