TalkNationRadio: Memory Card Junk Data and LHS Replacement – Integrity of Testing Procedures in Doubt

UConn is charged with testing a random sample of memory cards sent to registrars to be used in the election. If the actual cards used are replacements sent by LHS after the random card is sent to UConn, then there is no guarantee that the cards tested by Dr. Shvartsman were the same as those used in the election.

Once again Dori Smith presents significant information. Memory card failures are not just a Florida phenomenon. <listen>

Alex Shvartsman of the University of Connecticut’s Voting Research Team joins us to discuss his findings of “junk data” on memory cards delivered to the polls for the November 6, 2007 State and Municipal Election. The team will release their report on the memory card failures shortly.

Perhaps even more disturbing is instances uncovered in Dori’s work that indicate widespread failures during pre-election testing. Although its a small sample it indicates that problems may be much higher than those in Florida:

Our interviews with nine state registrars and other town workers reveals that of nine towns four had memory card problems. In three instances officials explained how LHS removed failing cards during set up and replaced them with newly programmed cards.

Most disturbing of all is the possibility that memory cards were replaced after the sample card was sent to Dr. Shvartsman for testing. This means they could have been misprogrammed, yet escape the possibility of random testing by UConn:

In three instances officials explained how LHS removed failing cards during set up and replaced them with newly programmed cards.
The timing of the replacement process by LHS would indicate that they were collecting failing cards from polls even as the state was in the process of obtaining their sample of cards in order to test for failures and problems with the coding. The cards were failing during a time not as well covered by the state’s security protocols and no one would have known about these replacements had it not been for our interviews.

I encourage you to listen to the entire report. It is an extensive and informative interview with Dr. Shvartsman and conversation with election officials discussing memory card failures. And Dori Smith’s overview on Brad Blog.

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