Not to say we told ya so, but, ya know, we've been telling you so for years (and years.)
A new finding by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission --- a rare finding, first of its kind, in fact, as the woeful EAC has never before taken the time to investigate and report on serious failures of e-voting systems that it has previously blessed with federal certification --- reveals that ES&S paper ballot optical-scan systems used in a bunch of large swing states, result in machines freezing during elections, failing to log system events correctly, and, perhaps most troubling, ballots being misread and votes being lost entirely.
The EAC's "Formal Investigation Report" follows on April 2010 revelations by the Cleveland Plain Dealer that some 10% of Cuyahoga County (Cleveland)'s EAC-certified ES&S Precinct Count Optical Scanner and Unity 18.104.22.168 tabulator voting systems failed in pre-election testing last year.
The paper ballot scanning computers were purchased as a replacement for the 100% unverifiable Diebold touch-screen systems used previously in Ohio's largest county, after a massive analysis of all of the state's e-voting systems, overseen by former Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner (D), revealed serious security issues and other major flaws in the touch-screen voting machines used there and in many other states.
Relatedly, Diebold's own paper ballot optical-scan system has similarly been found, in the past, to include a flaw which results in votes being lost entirely, though the EAC never issued a warning about that system, to our knowledge, even after it led to hundreds of votes going uncounted in at least one election in Northern California (and lord only knows how many elsewhere that the same system is used.)
The new findings of the failures of the ES&S op-scan system led Plain Dealer reporter/blogger Laura Johnston today to worry: "If the company can't correct the flaw, the government could decertify the machines --- leaving Cuyahoga and jurisdictions [throughout] the country no way to conduct elections in a presidential year."
Um, did the citizens of Cleveland lose their eyeballs? Or the ability to add 1 + 1 + 1, Ms. Johnston? Yes, there are other ways "to conduct elections in a presidential year." For example, one could simply count the ballots by hand in public, at the precinct, in front of all voters, all parties and video cameras, and report the results right then and there before the ballots are moved anywhere --- just as they still do in some 40% of the towns in the "First-in-the-Nation Primary" state of New Hampshire.
The flawed scanners manufactured by ES&S, the nation's largest e-voting vendor, are currently set to be used again in 2012, not only in Ohio, but also in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, New York and Wisconsin, among others states...