Times: Blames the Messinger

We have been complementary of late of the New York Times Editorials that have gotten it right: Nailed Problems With Federal Bill, Three Lessons Learned, and Strongly Favoring Post-Election Audits.

However a story on Saturday gets it wrong and blames the Election Assistance Commission for being slow in approving voting machines – but the problem is that the vendors are not supplying products that are acceptable <read>

Flaws in voting machines used by millions of people will not be fixed in time for the presidential election because of a government backlog in testing the machines’ hardware and software, officials say.

The flaws, which have cast doubt on the ability of some machines to provide a consistent and reliable vote count, were supposed to be addressed by the Election Assistance Commission, the federal agency that oversees voting. But commission officials say they will not be able to certify that flawed machines are repaired by the November election, or provide software fixes or upgrades, because of a backlog at the testing laboratories the commission uses.

“We simply are not going to sacrifice the integrity of the certification process for expediency,” said Rosemary E. Rodriguez, the chairwoman of the commission.

Thanks to John Gideon for articulating the details in the flawed products and the flawed article: <read>

The New York Times has again given a platform to the voting machine vendors to voice their displeasure with a system that is forcing them to actually provide voting systems that are fully tested and certified. The vendors, and some election officials, seem to want to continue the old system of poorly tested and rubber-stamped voting systems counting our votes…

If Diebold/Premier had not presented a voting system that had 79 flaws found during testing and 2 of those being fatal flaws, they might have one of their newer systems certified right now. All of the vendors seem to be having the same issues. Product certification testing is not supposed to be a system of doing alpha and beta testing for the vendors, yet that is what is clearly happening…

The fact is, as Urbina reports, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has “said the current system left states on their own to discover voting machine problems. The report calls for Congress to revise the Help America Vote Act and provide the commission with the authority and resources it needs to resolve problems with machines that were certified before the commission took over the process.”


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