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Verified Voting Blog: Design flaw in Dominion ImageCast Evolution voting machine | Andrew Appel

This article was originally posted at Freedom to Tinker on October 16, 2018.

The Dominion ImageCast Evolution looks like a pretty good voting machine, but it has a serious design flaw: after you mark your ballot, after you review your ballot, the voting machine can print more votes on it!. Fortunately, this design flaw has been patented by a rival company, ES&S, which sued to prevent Dominion from selling this bad design. Unfortunately, that means ES&S can still sell machines (such as their ExpressVote all-in-one) incorporating this design mistake.

When we use computers to count votes, it’s impossible to absolutely prevent a hacker from replacing the computer’s software with a vote-stealing program that deliberately miscounts the vote. Therefore (in almost all the states) we vote on paper ballots. We count the votes with optical scanners (which are very accurate when they haven’t been hacked), and to detect and correct possible fraud-by-hacking, we recount the paper ballots by hand. (This can be a full recount, or a risk-limiting auditan inspection of a randomly selected sample of the ballots.)

Some voters are unable to mark their ballots by hand–they may have a visual impairment (they can’t see the ballot) or a motor disability (they can’t physically handle the paper). Ballot-marking devices (BMDs) are provided for those voters (and for any other voters that wish to use them); the BMDs are equipped with touchscreens, and also with audio and tactile interfaces (headphones and distinctively shaped buttons) for blind voters, and even sip-and-puff input devices for motor-impaired voters. These BMDs print out a paper ballot that can be scanned by the optical scanners and can be recounted by hand. Read More

Nevada: Human error, tech problems cause of double voting in primary election | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Clark County Registrar of Voters Joe Gloria said Wednesday that a combination of human error and technical problems allowed up to 43 voters to cast ballots twice in the primary election. During a County Commission meeting to certify election results, Gloria said he is unsure why some voters believed their first attempt to vote was unsuccessful. But he explained that volunteer poll workers during early voting and on Election Day did not confirm whether those voters’ ballots had been properly submitted before they were allowed to re-vote. “Had that been done, we probably would have avoided this whole situation,” he said, adding that it is his department’s responsibility to properly train poll workers. Read More

Nevada: Officials still probing glitches with voting machines | Reno Gazette Journal

Nearly a week after Nevada’s primary election, officials are yet to look under the hood to see what caused glitches with Washoe County’s new voting machines. County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula said her office was still working to finalize and audit results from last week’s primary election and had not had a chance to conduct a full assessment of what went wrong with the county’s recently unveiled, multimillion-dollar election hardware. Officials last week said they were aware of fewer than 10 voters affected by well-publicized malfunctions that left some candidates off of ballots or displayed the wrong slate of ballot choices — potentially giving voters a chance to help decide races they weren’t eligible to vote in. Read More

Nevada: Washoe officials looking at reports that candidates were left off ballots | Reno Gazette Journal

Washoe County is looking into multiple reports of candidates being left off primary election ballots, officials confirmed Tuesday afternoon. Officials also heard complaints from voters who said Washoe’s new voting machines had offered them a previous voter’s candidate choices, potentially giving them a chance to cast a ballot in races they aren’t eligible to vote in. County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula said fewer than 10 voters had been affected by the glitches.  “At this time none of these issues will affect tabulation and again, all voters have successfully cast their ballots at the polls,” Spikula said at a Tuesday afternoon press conference. Read More

Nevada: ‘Isolated’ vote glitches solved with Nevada voting machines | Associated Press

Officials reported “isolated” primary voting glitches Tuesday involving the state’s new touch-screen voting machines in Nevada’s two most populous areas, and blamed the system for a technical problem that delayed the count of ballots in one rural northern county. Registrars in Las Vegas and Reno said a small number of voting machines failed to properly display all candidates’ names early in the day, and a state official and a member of The Associated Press election tabulation team said the vote tally was delayed for more than two hours after polls closed in Pershing County. In no case were voters unable to successfully cast a ballot with help from poll workers, said Jennifer Russell, spokeswoman for the Nevada Secretary of State’s office. Read More

Michigan: Detroit getting new voting machines, bound statewide | Detroit Free Press

Using state-of-the-art voting machines wouldn’t have changed the controversial results of Michigan’s presidential election last fall, according to Detroit and state election officials. But new digital machines unveiled Saturday — to about 1,200 volunteer supervisors of Detroit’s polling sites — won’t suffer the frequent breakdowns of the old machines, causing lines to back up with impatient voters, and soon will be used statewide, officials said. “At the end of the day, we all have one goal, right? To ensure that every person that wants to vote gets to vote and we count that vote accurately,” Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey told the poll workers. In an event billed as an equipment fair, Winfrey and her staff showed off the new, $4,000 voting tabulators to noisy, curious crowds of election volunteers who gathered — one group in the morning, another in the afternoon — at Wayne County Community College in downtown Detroit. Read More

Kansas: Reno commission to consider $538,000-plus voting machine purchase | Hutchinson News

A proposed half-million-dollar-plus purchase of new voting equipment by the Reno County Clerk’s Office will move the county back to all paper ballots. The Reno County Commission will vote today on awarding the purchase contract, and County Clerk Donna Patton and Election Officer Jenna Fager are recommending equipment from Michigan-based ElectionSource, despite it being the highest of three bids. They anticipate savings in printing costs will more than offset the $13,000 in additional costs, Patton advised the commission last week. Overall, the contract – including discounts for trade-in, a multi-county group discount and signing a contract before the end of the year – is for $538,830. Reoccurring annual fees, after the first year, for software and firmware licenses and annual maintenance, total some $60,265. Read More

Colorado: Pre-election tests didn’t find limits in Pueblo County voting system | The Pueblo Chieftain

State election officials said Pueblo County would have had to test the county’s election system with 50,000-60,000 test ballots to discover the limited data base on the Dominion Express system that filled up on Election Day, causing days of delay in getting final results. Dwight Shellman, county support manager for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, said the limited data base was not mentioned in any of the vendor’s documentation about the Microsoft SQL Express system and that neither state or county officials were aware of it — until the computer server stopped working on Election Day. “We approved that purchase, but if we’d known its limitations, we wouldn’t have,” Shellman said Tuesday. Both Secretary of State Wayne Williams and County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz have explained how the vendor — Dominion Voting Systems — rushed a much bigger server to the county last Tuesday to remedy the logjam in counting more than 80,000 votes. Read More

Colorado: Federal funds to help with new voting system costs | Journal Advocate

Logan County Clerk and Recorder Pam Bacon got some welcome news this week while in Fort Collins for the Colorado County Clerks Association three-day winter conference. Wednesday at the conference, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced that he has some funding available to help counties with the purchase of new voting equipment in the next two years. According to a press release from Williams’ office, the state will use $850,000 in federal Help America Vote Act funds to cover 50 percent of a county’s costs to train, test, install and manage the project. The U.S. Election Assistance Commission, which is a unit within the Justice Department and the grantor, approved Williams’ decision. Read More

Colorado: Election equipment debate: bulk discount vs state backed monopoly | KOAA

County clerks and election staffers from across the state are in Fort Collins this week for the Colorado County Clerks Association Winter Conference. Those officials will learn best practices and get updates on new election laws. They can also get demonstration of voting machines in action from multiple vendors. But a proposed rule change by Secretary of State Wayne Williams will soon prevent counties from buying their equipment anyone other than Dominion Voting. “We believe that by working together as a state, we’re able to negotiate a better deal and we’ve actually achieved that, so far,” Williams said. “We’re in the middle of those contract negotiations but I’m optimistic it’s going to be a very good deal for taxpayers across the state.” In addition to the bulk discount, Williams said instituting a Uniform Voting System will make it easier to train election officials. It will also gives voters a more common experience at the polls. “The goal throughout this process has been to ensure the best possible experience for Colorado voters and to ensure the integrity of the process,” Williams said. There’s just one problem: the state isn’t buying the machines. That expense falls to the counties. Read More