Two 'Accu-Vote' 'OpTech' Machines Confiscated for Examination by Attorney General After Results Fail to Add Up
(Just Another 'Glitch')
By Brad Friedman on 3/18/2006, 3:39pm PT  

ED NOTE: Diebold's Charles "Buck" Jones has sent us an email about the following story, with a scan of a correction published by the Union Tribune concerning the following story. The "Accu-Vote" machines referred to in their story, as originally reported below, are actually "Optech IIIp" optical-scan machines made by ES&S, not by Diebold. The complete correction, reportedly published by the Union Tribune, is posted at the bottom of this blog item. We appreciate the information from Mr. Jones, and only wish that Diebold was as responsive to answering questions and clarifying the mountain of problems and failures in their own machines as they are with ES&S's. We are also delighted to see that Diebold follows BRAD BLOG's reporting so closely. Even on a Saturday.

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Diebold's hackable Accu-Vote (Hack-U-Vote?) machines fail again.

ES&S's "OpTech" (Op-Wreck?) machines fail again.

From New Hampshire's Union Leader on Thursday...

Grafton --- No matter how you do the math, 193 "yeas" plus 198 "nays" don't add up to 369 votes.

That faulty equation --- results of a warrant article vote from Tuesday's election ballot --- was the first clue for Grafton town officials that something was wrong.

As a result, two voting machines used to collect ballots in the annual town and school district meetings are now in the custody of the Attorney General's Office, removed from the town yesterday, said Grafton Selectman Jennie Joyce.
...
She said the voting machine showed no signs of malfunctions during two pre-election tests --- most recently one week prior to the election.

It's notable, by the way, that the Union Leader's story refers to the "Accu-Vote" machines being confiscated, but never mentions the maker of the machines --- in this case, Diebold. (Actually, ES&S, and the machines were "Optech" machines instead. See the clarification below.)

It's unclear from the story whether these were optical-scan or touch-screen machines, but apparently there is some paper that can be counted to get an accurate count of the election, instead of an "Accu-Vote" count of the election. According to the article, "Joyce said she is in favor of recounting ballots, both by hand and by machine." --- so it would seem there is something to actually go back and count.

And yes, the problem is referred to as a "glitch" at one point in the story. As it always is. This time in reference to a heretofore unknown issue (at least to us) concerning "dip switches" on these machines...

McDow, who is trained to operate the voting machine, said she learned more after placing a call yesterday to LHS Associates of Methuen, Mass., the company that services the town's Accu-Vote machine.

"They told me one of the dip switches let go, or the problem had to do with one of the dip switches not being set --- that's what LHS told me after I read them the information from the tally sheet," McDow said.

The toggle switch glitch likely caused some ballots to be counted twice, McDow said.

The "Glitch" that Would Destroy American Democracy. Cuz we let it.

UPDATE: According to a Diebold employee who notified The BRAD BLOG (see the Ed Note added to the top of this article) the Union Tribune posted the following correction to the story referenced above:

In a story about voting machines in Grafton that ran in yesterday's Union Leader, the machines were incorrectly identified as Accuvote machines. They should have been identified as Optech IIIp machines.

We have not been able to find the correction published on the Union Tribune website, but this New Hampshire state page seems to confirm that Grafton County uses the ES&S "Optech" machines instead of the Diebold "Accu-Vote" machines as most other counties in New Hampshire do.

We've also learned, since running this piece orginally, that New Hampshire does not allow for the use of touch-screen (DRE) machines. So the voting systems in question here, are all optical-scan machines, akin to the Diebold optical-scan machine used in Ion Sancho's recent "hack test" in Leon County, FL which demonstrated that such machines could be hacked to cause election results to be completely flipped without a trace being left behind.