Debunking Pre-Election Testing Myths

We have said it here as one of our Ten Myths:

Myth #6 – Memory card errors cannot affect the outcome of our elections because election officials conduct pre-election testing of our electronic voting systems.

  • Pre-election testing of electronic voting systems will detect only basic errors such as junk memory cards, wrong candidates, and machines that simply don’t work. Pre-election testing cannot detect all errors and programming attacks.
  • Computer science tells us it is impossible to test completely. Recent academic reports outline many ways that clever programming can circumvent detection during basic pre-election testing.
  • Don’t take our word for it. An OpEdNews article covers the issue and the myth in more detail. Don’t take their word for it. They have a list of fifty studies including the one from UConn which we highlighted in testimony to the legislature.

    From OpEdNews, Debunking Pre-Election Testing Myths:

    Debunking myths can be a full time job in the election integrity world. Someone recently asserted:

    “As for vote switching, not sure how many times I have to tell you, the election goes thru a logic and accuracy test that proves the votes are counted correctly. There is no vote switching … on ES&S machines. Not sure where you get this information. You shouldn’t believe everything you hear.”

    Malware can easily defeat pre-election testing and certification processes: logic and accuracy tests cannot “prove” that software is free of malicious code. Assertions that no vote switching has ever been shown to have occurred on an ES&S system or any other computerized voting system is explained by the fact that malware (malicious software code) can be self-erasing.


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