This problem (and solution) would never happen in Connecticut

Palm Beach Post  Vendor: software ‘shortcoming’ led to Wellington election fiasco  <read>

The short version:

  • Polling place machines counted races and votes correctly
  • Mismatched counters on machines used to accumulate results caused two races to be switched and the wrong candidates the apparent winners
  • The problem was discovered and corrected based on a post-election audit
  • The problem went undetected in pre-election testing as the only test is the polling place machines

Hats off to Wellington and their post-election audits. This problem (and solution) would never happen in Connecticut:

  • We leave all our totaling and transcription errors to a two and three level process of manual accounting, so we make our errors the old fashioned way.
  • Our post-election audits only compare the machine tapes to the ballot totals, not to the results posted on the Secretary of the State’s web site (they don’t have enough details even if we wanted to)

Help is on the way as the Secretary of the State is about to pilot a better accumulation system. Perhaps it will include sufficient detail to check for errors in the subset of ballots we audit, and the law will be changed to audit using those numbers rather than the machine tapes.


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