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Verified Voting Blog: Verified Voting’s Policy on DREs and BMDs

Download VerifiedVoting’s Policy on Direct Recording Electronic Voting Machines and Ballot Marking Devices

Today, Verified Voting published its policy statement on Direct Recording Electronic voting systems and Ballot Marking Devices. We published this statement because many jurisdictions either have replaced or are in the process of replacing older vulnerable systems.  In striking contrast to the last time states replaced voting systems after the passage of the Help America Vote Act in 2002, this time the consensus is that voting systems must have a paper record.

But it’s not enough for a voting system to “check the box” on paper – to print paper records that voters may not even notice or examine. To be trustworthy, elections need to be based on voter-marked paper ballots. Whether these ballots are marked by hand or by device, for them to be considered voter-marked, voters should know what they say!

For Ballot Marking Devices (BMDs), that means the systems, and the procedures around them, should demonstrably support voter verification. They should ensure that voters deliberately and intentionally check their printed ballots carefully enough to detect, correct, and report any errors. It also means that pollworkers should be trained to follow specific protocols if BMDs are not recording voters’ intent accurately during voting. Read More

Philippines: Comelec suggests use of direct-recording electronic voting machines in 2016 | InterAksyon

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has recommended to Congress and Malacanang the use direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines for the 2016 presidential elections in order to speed up the casting and canvassing of votes. In an exclusive interview after attending the hearing on electoral reforms in the Senate, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., said that the idea was one of the three alternatives discussed with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Electoral Reforms. “We have submitted to Congress some alternatives, kasi puwede naman namin gamitin ang DRE, ang Direct-recording Electronic voting machine, pero magastos,” Brillantes said. Brillantes said the machine will cost the government about P60 billion. “KungDRE (Direct-Recording Electronic) system, P60 billion, kaya ba natin ibigay iyon?Read More

Virginia: Touch-screen voting machines get reprieve | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Virginia localities may continue to use touch-screen voting machines at the polls beyond the 2014 election. A proposal that would have forced precincts to replace the touch-screen machines, also known as direct recording electronic machines, with optical scan tabulators by November was defeated this morning in the House Privileges and Elections Committee. Several panel members voiced concern with the financial burden. Some lawmakers prefer optical scan machines because they preserve a paper record of the ballots. The measure, sponsored by Del. David Ramadan, R-Loudoun, would have created a fund to help localities cover half of the cost of new tabulators. Under current law, local electoral boards are not permitted to replace old DREs with new equipment but they are allowed to use their old machines as long as they keep them operating. Read More

Congo: Election Results Delayed Again | VoA News

Election officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo have again delayed the results of presidential and legislative elections.  Opposition supporters are rejecting partial returns that show President Joseph Kabila heading for reelection.

Electoral Commission head Daniel Ngoy-Mulunda says results will be postponed for a third day because officials have not completed comparing vote totals sent electronically with those recorded on tally sheets at each polling station.  He said it is a huge job that must be done right to assure the credibility of the totals announced. Results from last month’s presidential and legislative elections were to be announced on Tuesday.  That was postponed until Thursday and has now been pushed back to Friday. Read More

National: Diebold voting machines can be hacked by remote control | Salon.com

It could be one of the most disturbing e-voting machine hacks to date.

Voting machines used by as many as a quarter of American voters heading to the polls in 2012 can be hacked with just $10.50 in parts and an 8th grade science education, according to computer science and security experts at theVulnerability Assessment Team at Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois. The experts say the newly developed hack could change voting results while leaving absolutely no trace of the manipulation behind.

“We believe these man-in-the-middle attacks are potentially possible on a wide variety of electronic voting machines,” said Roger Johnston, leader of the assessment team “We think we can do similar things on pretty much every electronic voting machine.”

Read More

New Jersey: Malfunctioning Voting Machines Delay Primary Results in Somerset County NJ | Basking Ridge, NJ Patch

Somerset County’s primary election polls may have closed Tuesday night at 8 p.m., but the results were not posted online until Wednesday morning.

With several county districts experiencing malfunctioning machines and a few close races (including a nine-vote difference in a Branchburg race), County Clerk Brett Radi explained, “I didn’t post them because we still had some ballots that needed to be added. I didn’t want to have results that didn’t reflect what was really going on.”

“We just didn’t do a final update, because we didn’t have the ‘emergencies’ [emergency ballots used when machines malfunction],” he noted. Read More

New Jersey: Faulty parts delay election results in Middlesex County NJ | MyCentralJersey.com

It was late Tuesday night — hours after the polls closed for the primary elections — and some candidates still had yet to learn the final vote tally. That’s because municipal clerks in Monroe, Plainsboro, South River and Woodbridge, many of whom started their day at 5 a.m., clocked out without ever learning the unofficial results because of an issue with some of the voting machines.

“To work those kind of hours and not be able to give the candidates their results is frustrating,” Monroe Township Clerk Sharon Doerfler said.

In Monroe, four of the voting machines were printing illegible numbers that ran over the top of one another. Like every other municipality, Monroe’s poll workers received an emergency number to call in the event of a malfunctioning voter machine. Read More

New Jersey: Technical glitch shakes up Sussex County New Jersey election results – ES&S iVotronic DRE | New Jersey Herald

Past Cinderella’s curfew and beyond the target deadline for the Sussex County Board of Elections, a small gathering including Freeholder Rich Vohden, freeholder candidate Dennis Mudrick, acting County Clerk Jeffrey Parrott, Sheriff Michael Strada and two of Franklin Mayor Paul Crowley’s children waited for results of the Tuesday primary election. The unofficial results that never came.

Numbers appeared to be coming in smoothly for the first half of the evening. However, as charts displaying unofficial results flashed on the wall via a projector, watchers noticed the number of reporting districts changed, and not always in an upwards direction. According to the results, the number of districts reporting numbers were decreasing, and the number of Walpack votes totaled   61, though only 22 registered voters reside in the community. Read More

New Jersey: East Hanover voting results delayed by technical difficulties – Sequoia Advantage DRE | NJ.com

Unofficial results for primary races in the Morris County township were delayed due to technical difficulties.

“The machine jammed, we won’t have results until tomorrow,” said Theresa Maggiulli, the township registrar. Maggiulli explained that there was a problem with one of the 16 voting machines in the township. Read More