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Is it possible that the vote was hacked?

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Is it possible that the vote was hacked? You know… I’m not being a sore loser here so don’t even suggest it. I would be asking this question regardless of who won the election. I want my vote to be counted! I found out the other day that 80% of the electronic voting machines used in the election do not have a paper trail of any kind. Is that just a little disturbing to anyone? It’s interesting too that people are not talking about this much. I stumbled over this article which doesn’t prove anything for sure but it sure does make you think! There is further reading below the link too. Check it out and lets raise hell and get some answers.

Click here for the article.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An error with an electronic voting system gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in suburban Columbus, elections officials said.

Franklin County’s unofficial results had Bush receiving 4,258 votes to Democrat John Kerry’s 260 votes in a precinct in Gahanna. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct.

Bush actually received 365 votes in the precinct, Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, told The Columbus Dispatch.

State and county election officials did not immediately respond to requests by The Associated Press for more details about the voting system and its vendor, and whether the error, if repeated elsewhere in Ohio, could have affected the outcome.

Bush won the state by more than 136,000 votes, according to unofficial results, and Kerry conceded the election on Wednesday after acknowledging that 155,000 provisional ballots yet to be counted in Ohio would not change the result. (Full Ohio results)

The Secretary of State’s Office said Friday it could not revise Bush’s total until the county reported the error.

The Ohio glitch is among a handful of computer troubles that have emerged since Tuesday’s elections. (Touchscreen voting troubles reported)

In one North Carolina county, more than 4,500 votes were lost because officials mistakenly believed a computer that stored ballots electronically could hold more data than it did. And in San Francisco, a malfunction with custom voting software could delay efforts to declare the winners of four races for county supervisor.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (AP) — Voters nationwide reported some 1,100 problems with electronic voting machines on Tuesday, including trouble choosing their intended candidates.

The e-voting glitches reported to the Election Protection Coalition, an umbrella group of volunteer poll monitors that set up a telephone hotline, included malfunctions blamed on everything from power outages to incompetent poll workers.

But there were also several dozen voters in six states — particularly Democrats in Florida — who said the wrong candidates appeared on their touchscreen machine’s checkout screen, the coalition said.

In many cases, voters said they intended to select John Kerry but when the computer asked them to verify the choice it showed them instead opting for President Bush, the group said.

Ralph G. Neas, president of People for the American Way Foundation, which helped form the coalition, called the summary screen problem “troubling but anecdotal.”

He and other voting rights advocates said the disproportionate number of Democrats reporting such problems was probably due to higher awareness of voter protection coalitions.

“Overall, the problems of outright voter intimidation and suppression have not been as great as in the past,” Neas said.

But the reports did highlight computer scientists’ concerns about touchscreens, which they say are prone to tampering and unreliable unless they produce paper records for recounts.

Roberta Harvey, 57, of Clearwater, Florida, said she had tried at least a half dozen times to select Kerry-Edwards when she voted Tuesday at Northwood Presbyterian Church.

After 10 minutes trying to change her selection, the Pinellas County resident said she called a poll worker and got a wet-wipe napkin to clean the touch screen as well as a pencil so she could use its eraser-end instead of her finger. Harvey said it took about 10 attempts to select Kerry before and a summary screen confirmed her intended selection.

Election officials in several Florida counties where voters complained about such problems did not return calls Tuesday night.

A spokesoman for the company that makes the touchscreen machines used in Pinellas, Palm Beach and two other Florida counties, Alfie Charles of Sequoia Voting Systems Inc., said the machines’ monitors may need to be recalibrated periodically.

The most likely reason the summary screen showed wrong candidates was because voters pushed the wrong part of the touch screen in the first place, Charles said.

He said poll workers are trained to perform the recalibration whenever a voter says the touchscreen isn’t sensitive enough.

“Voters will vote quickly and they’ll notice that they made an error when they get to the review screen. The review screen is doing exactly what it needs to do — notifying voters what selections are about to be recorded,” Charles said. “On a paper ballot, you don’t get a second chance to make sure you voted for whom you intended, and it’s a strong point in favor of these machines.”

The Election Protection Coalition received a total of 32 reports of touch-screen voters who selected one candidate only to have another show up on the summary screen, Cindy Cohn, legal director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a coalition member.

David Dill, a Stanford University computer scientist whose Verified Voting Foundation also belongs to the coalition, said he wouldn’t “prejudge and say the election is going smoothly just because we have a small number of incident reports out of the total population.

“It’s not going to be until the dust clears probably tomorrow that we have even an approximate idea of what happened,” Dill added.

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  • JR

    It seems like after such a long and contentious election, America doesn’t want to deal with the possibility that someone cheated. Kind of like in 1945 when, after six years of war, nobody wanted to deal with the Soviets. Stamina isn’t this country’s strong suit.

  • Serious computer scientists have been concerned about the electronic machines since the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was passed. I have some links to stories in an item I blogged last December, Who Cares – I Never Vote Anyhow.

    I think what might be useful is a non-partisan, civil service “Ombudsman” type of office responsible for the voting infrastructure.

    Another useful reform would be having independent state redistricting bodies, although this would have to be done at the state level.

    As far as today goes, I agree that the computer systems are eminently hackable, some systems have no traceability, and over-all, there’s no mechanism to ensure the integrity of the system.

    But politicians, our representatives, would never lie, cheat or steal, would they?