Guest Blogged by John Gideon of
By John Gideon on 11/9/2008, 4:11pm PT  

In this space in the Nov. 07 DVN I mentioned that ES&S software was responsible for flipping votes in Crawford Co Kansas. That statement was incorrect. The county did their own ballot programming for the first time. They made a mistake in ballot rotation which caused the votes for candidates to be counted for different candidates in one race. The county also did a poor job of pre-election testing which should have found their programming error.

Meanwhile responsibility for Kenton Co Kentucky’s Hart Intercivic eSlate machines and their failure to record straight-party votes in two legislative races is being revealed. The machines are purchased from and maintained by Harp Industries. Harp also does the ballot programming. Harp has admitted that they failed to properly program Kenton Co’s machines. The county has admitted that they failed to properly do pre-election testing which would have found the problem.

There is a common theme here. Ballot programming can fail and counties must do proper pre-election testing to ensure none of those failures go forward to the election. Even if a contractor or the vendor of the voting system does the programming, counties should always build their own test decks and thoroughly test the machines. ...

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