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Utah: Count Votes!Information about Utah's process for selecting voting equipment to help you make sure that "Utah Counts Votes"
Here are links to some of the reported problems with digital recording electronic (DRE) -style voting machines that record votes electronically and do not provide paper ballots that are hand recountable, from Diebold and ES&S and perhaps Sequoia.
The major flaw with all these systems is the lack of a hand countable paper ballot. Voters must take the time to check both the computer screen and the small paper rolls to see if they match, but will have no idea if the electronic votes and the bar-code on the paper rolls are correct. In addition counting the paper rolls would be unbelievably complex and the paper rolls do not qualify as a legal ballot under Utah law and so may not even be legally countable. Sequoia, Diebold and ES&S use proprietary (SECRET) software, and their voting machines have been found to have security flaws which make it possible to easily hack into them during elections to change vote counts and erase log files without leaving a trace. You can learn how to do it yourself by watching the above video. Neither vendor has thus far designed voting machines which preserve the American Democratic tradition of "Secretly Cast, Publicly Counted" Ballots.
DRE Voting machines like Diebold and ES&S voting machines have other problems which expose elections to programming errors or electronic failures. Federal case law in both California and Florida has sided with voters' right to a voter verified paper trail in case of machine malfunction or disputed elections, yet neither Diebold or ES&S have provided effective means of providing paper recounts because:
For instance, in Riverside County during the 2000 presidential election, a computer from Sequoia began dropping touch-screen ballots from the vote tally. A Sequoia salesman who was on hand intervened and fixed the problem. Two years later in Bernalillo County, N.M., neither local election officials nor a Sequoia representative noticed on election night that a programming error was causing a computer running Microsoft SQL server software to delete 25 percent of ballots cast by early voters. Three days later, a Democratic Party lawyer spotted a discrepancy between the number of voters who signed in at the polls and the number of digital ballots counted. Sequoia then managed to recover the lost votes. ``They messed up,'' said Mary Herrera, the Bernalillo County clerk, of Sequoia. Responded Sequoia spokesman Alfie Charles: ``It was just a bug in Microsoft that required an additional step in converting data into the database format. There was a patch that was later applied by Microsoft.''