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Republicans

pudge's Journal: Election Problems in Snohomish County 6 6

I am running, unopposed, for Republican Precinct Committee Officer (PCO), the party representative of the precinct. These races are conducted, in the great state of Washington, during the primary every two years. On the electronic voting machines this year (made by Sequoia Voting Systems), my name was not listed. It was on the paper ballot, just not on the voting machine.

There were two lines under PCO: one was blank, and the other was for write-in. Imagine this picture (from two years ago), except instead of saying "Chris Nandor," there's simply an empty space. If you check off the blank space, my name shows up in the Review section (before you confirm your choices), and if you then cast the ballot, my name prints to the paper audit trail. But on the ballot selection itself, my name was just not being displayed.

Snohomish County Elections Manager Carolyn Diepenbrock looked into it and apparently, my name -- the name of the guy who was in the paper this very morning criticizing the County Auditor's office -- was the only one affected by whatever the problem is. Of all the names that would fail to display, it was mine. That seems very suspicious, though I think it is merely an incredibly embarrassing coincidence.

They tried and failed to fix the problem. Thankfully, as I am running unopposed, and won't be affected by this. And hopefully, it really did affect no other races. But they need to fix this before the general election in November, or at least make sure it doesn't affect any other races in that election.

I don't see this as evidence for why we should not have electronic voting machines; I see it as evidence for why we should require open source software for them.

This discussion was created by pudge (3605) for no Foes, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Election Problems in Snohomish County

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  • Sounds like you live near Chicago instead of some podunk Washington city.
  • now what ballot is better? :)
    • by pudge (3605) *
      :p Seriously though, this problem is not specific to "electronic voting machines;" I've seen paper ballot misprints a lot more than electronic voting machine "misprints" (and in theory, the machine "misprints" are easier to fix :-). And it wouldn't have happened (or would have been far less likely to happen) if we'd had these machines deployed throughout the county, as they would've been more likely to catch it earlier.
      • by Bill Dog (726542)
        And by the same theory, machine "misprints" are also easier to make, especially at the last minute, when there's no more time left for it to be properly reviewed (as it would be explained).

        I don't think I've ever seen a paper ballot misprint. I'm not sure you have either -- wouldn't that be an illegality? At least of the magnitude where a candidate was improperly missing from the ballot, and there were no special instructions to address the situation.
        • by pudge (3605) *
          Seen one in person? No. But I've seen pictures. It happens, unfortunately.
  • I don't know that using open source voting machines is any better an idea than closed. I do think the government should be allowed to review the source (and hardware) though.

    Open source is a great idea, but hardly should it be a requirement when purchasing. It should compete with closed solutions. If you want to go start a voting machine company which uses open source, great idea, but you must compete with the other companies.

    Another thing, without a machine to run the code, source can be near useless.

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