A story from election integrity watchdog Mark L. provides yet another
example the stark contrast between current election systems vendors current
behavior and products, versus the kind of election transparency that’s needed
to inspire trust in election results.
At issue the requirement that election systems product should track
“undervotes” (the situation where a valid ballot contains no voter selection in
a contest or measure) and report on the undervote rate.
The notable election systems snafu news items of the week is a virus infection of Windows-based election systems sold by Premier Systems (Diebold) and used in Florida’s Pinellas county.
As a cause for alarm, the incident is pretty low, in that the infection was by ordinary Windows OS viruses, which can cripple a Windows system in a generic way. That’s not the much-speculated "targeted malware" that acts to change election data in the cases where the virus gets a foothold on an actual voting system machine.
Today’s news of e-voting malfunction underscores my previous point about complexity of voting systems. This time, about 4000 ballots went uncounted in North Carolina’s election this week.
Thanks to election technology expert Noel Runyan, I can
explain another reason why the U.S.
election systems market is under-served by today’s for-profit vendors of
election technology. (And to read up on several other reasons, see Noel’s