People And Paper Save The Election In Arkansas!!!

The ballots were incorrect, the machines were not programmed correctly. But election officials noticed the ballot problem in time and after the election discovered the machine problem. Because they had a paper record the election was able to be correctly decided. <read>

Haggard says the night before the election, officials noticed that the electronic ballot on two machines slated to be used at East Cadron B was missing the State House District 45 race. So officials printed up paper ballots to be used just for that race in that precinct.

Voters cast electronic ballots on the voting machines for other races, then cast paper ballots for the District 45 race. At the end of the day, Dr. Terry Fiddler (D) had beat Linda Tyler (D) for the House seat with 794 votes to Tyler’s 770. But a post-election examination revealed that despite the fact that the electronic ballots on the two machines at the East Cadron B precinct didn’t display the District 45 race, the machines recorded votes for that race anyway…

“Somehow the recording software had tabulated it into the wrong race,” Haggard says. “Thank goodness for the paper trail. We went to the paper trail and could show how people actually voted.”...

ES&S machines were also at the center of the controversy over the 13th Congressional District race in Florida in 2006 when more than 18,000 ballots cast in Sarasota County

But in Sarasota they had no paper trail <read> and a huge loss for democracy in the polling place, in Congress, and in the courts.

Some say that Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Arkansas in between. I guess not! In Pennsylvania they don’t have the paper to protect the vote <read>.

Update: As other advocates have pointed out, all is not rosy in Arkansas:

  • A DRE should always exactly equal the paper record, the same machine prints and tallies both – it should not mix up candidates and print a record for a candidate not on the ballot
  • The paper record is subject to the problems of voters not really checking – an optical scan paper record completed by the voter would provide much more confidence
  • What if any pre-election testing was performed – this is about the easiest error to spot, other than the machine failing to start or catching fire

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.