Why Do Electronic Voting Machines Need A Paper Trail, Again?

This isn’t completely unexpected, and one wonders on how grand a scale it took place during the election. Via Yahoo! News:

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. – More than 4,500 votes have been lost in one North Carolina county because officials believed a computer that stored ballots electronically could hold more data than it did. Scattered other problems may change results in races around the state.

Local officials said UniLect Corp., the maker of the county’s electronic voting system, told them that each storage unit could handle 10,500 votes, but the limit was actually 3,005 votes.

Expecting the greater capacity, the county used only one unit during the early voting period. “If we had known, we would have had the units to handle the votes,” said Sue Verdon, secretary of the county election board. [Continued...]

And why was it, again, that so many election reformers were fighting for the distribution of paper receipts from these machines? Oh, yeah. Now I remember. Ah! But that’s not all. There’s more. From USA Today (via Yahoo!):

Concern over electronic voting technology was not assuaged Tuesday as glitches, confusion and human error raised a welter of problems across the country, even while e-vote watchdogs prepared to file suits challenging the results derived from the controversial machines.

New rules, new voters and a tight presidential contest combined to create “a recipe for problems,” said Sean Greene, who was watching Cleveland polls for the Election Reform Information Project, a nonpartisan research group on election reform.

Nearly one in three voters, including about half of those in Florida, were expected to cast ballots using ATM-style voting machines that computer scientists have criticized for their potential for software glitches, hacking and malfunctioning. [Continued...]

Election reform. What DO people see in it? Ah, right! A chance for everyone’s vote to be counted fairly. Ironic that technology would hinder – rather than help – this process. Oh, well. Better luck next time, America.

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