Tag Archive: voting machines

Does your congressional candidate do this?

Rush Holt inspects voting machines 2Voting Machine integrity?

The pictures are grainy; they might have been taken with a cell phone. At any rate, I had to enlarge all of them. But I wanted to show you that at least one of our congressional candidates is exercising his right to examine voting machines that will be used in his race on election day. Among the things Holt is known for is efforts to make voting and voting machines more reliable, and less available to the possibility of hacking. Holt’s HR 2894: Voter Confidence and Increased Accessibility Act which, unfortunately, has still not made it through Congress. There are 3 pix of Rush and the voting machines then after the jump, a very different bonus picture for you

Rush Holt inspects voting machines3

Rush Holt inspects voting machine (1 of 3)

More Elections Fraud, Still No Paper Trail

No one was surprised when a county elections worker was found guilty this week of absentee ballot fraud and using county computers to add fictitious voters to the rolls. This particular year-long investigation has ensnared ten defendants. The frequency of elections fraud in many different guises renders it almost banal.

What does surprise me is how little concern there is from politicians and the pubic for the integrity of our voting system. Stephen Taylor, Director of the Division of Criminal Justice, said, “We will continue to investigate any allegations of election tampering.” That’s good, but how about also using more  preventive measures? And where are our legislators on the matter?

A February 2010 Superior Court ruling improved aspects of our electronic voting machines and ordered further review, but Judge Feinberg refused to require paper copy as backup. Transparency apparently is unnecessary for one of our most fundamental rights – the right to vote. How can citizens be expected to trust the results when there is no paper support for the individual ballots cast? Even without fraud unintended bugs can be in machines.

Senator Nia Gill and Assemblyman Reed Gusciora introduced a bill (S900/A1087) which “requires each voting machine shall produce an individual permanent paper record for each vote cast, which shall be made available for inspection and verification by the voter at the time the vote is cast, and preserved for later use in any manual audit.”  Now there’s an idea worth supporting – even worth haranguing legislators to support.

Alice needed her yellow brick road. E.T. followed the Reese’s Pieces. Voters need a paper trail.  

NYT Praises Rush Holt’s Bill That Keeps Machines Honest

Thanks for keeping us current on Rush Holt’s initiative, Nick. I’ve updated Nick’s links so they appear right in the text of his diary – promoted by Rosi

From today’s NYTimes (emphases added):

“Electronic voting machines that do not produce a paper record of every vote cast cannot be trusted. In 2008, more than one-third of the states, including New Jersey and Texas, still did not require all votes to be recorded on paper. Representative Rush Holt has introduced a good bill that would ban paperless electronic voting in all federal elections. Congress should pass it while there is still time to get ready for 2010.

In paperless electronic voting, voters mark their choices, and when the votes have all been cast, the machine spits out the results. There is no way to be sure that a glitch or intentional vote theft – by malicious software or computer hacking – did not change the outcome. If there is a close election, there is also no way of conducting a meaningful recount.

Mr. Holt’s bill would require paper ballots to be used for every vote cast in November 2010. It would help prod election officials toward the best of the currently available technologies: optical-scan voting. With optical scans, voters fill out a paper ballot that is then read by computer much like a standardized test. The votes are counted quickly and efficiently by computer, but the paper ballot remains the official vote, which can then be recounted by hand.”

This is a complete no brainer folks.  I urge the NJ congressional delegation,  legislature, and governor Corzine to get their butts in gear and to support Holt’s initiative.   Support in deeds not just words.   Everyone in our CD needs to co-sponsor this and anyone who doesn’t deserves to pay a price when next they ask for our votes.

By the way, optical scan tech could NOW replace all our DRE’s and comply with this legislation for LESS money than we are now giving away to Sequoia to replace, upgrade and maintain ancient/obsolete and insecure electronic touchscreen machines.  There are no credible good reasons for NJ to be one of the last states to cling to insecure unverifiable and overpriced/expensive voting machines.  

Lets all contact our legislators at every level and DEMAND that this problem be fixed ASAP!!!


Here’s a list of the 7 NJ co-sponsors (there are 75 in toto) as of today:

Robert Andrews (NJ-1),    Leonard Lance (NJ-7),  Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2),   Frank Pallone (NJ-6), Donald Payne (NJ-10),  Steven Rothman (NJ-9), Albio Sires (NJ-13)

If your congressman isn’t on this list please call them now.   On something like this even few dozen calls from people who care can make a real difference.


NJ Violates NJ Law: NYT Is Shocked!!!

Promoted by Jason Springer because the lack of a paper trail isn’t going away.

Once again, it takes the New York Times to blow the whistle on Trenton.

Shortchanging Voters

More than three years have gone by since the New Jersey Legislature required the state to install modern voting machines that provide printouts of each vote – the paper trail that experts regard as essential to fair and accurate elections. The machines are still nowhere in sight.

Deadlines have been imposed and proved meaningless. The latest deadline was New Year’s Day, which of course has passed. Technically, the state is in violation of its own law, but nobody seems to care. Gov. Jon Corzine has said he will do something without specifying what.

Verified Voting to be Delayed Again?

Cross-posted at DKos.

The New Jersey Legislature passed a law to require voter-verifiable paper records in 2005. The state needs that law badly: the voting machines used in most of the state are unreliable, hackable, and have miscounted ballots in a Presidential primary. The Clerk of Union County actually encouraged voters not to use the machines and vote absentee in the November election.

Anyway, the law was supposed to be implemented by 2008. It wasn’t, and if lawmakers pass bills now moving in both Houses, the law may never be implemented. Click here to send a message to legislators opposing irresponsible delay.

Verified Voting – may include optical scan

When I saw yesterday that there were ammendments to Assembly Bill A3458, I was curious as to what they were.

Well, they are now posted and I for one am happy with the changes.

The original pilot project was setup to retrofit voting machines in one small (less than 10 voting districts) municipality per county to create a voter verified paper audit trail.

The changes to the pilot project as ammended, add an option for each county to choose an additional small municipality where optical scan systems will be tested.

I’m thrilled that both options are being looked at, even if optional. Now I just wish I lived in a town with less voting districts!

Paper Trail Delayed Again

We’ve talked here before about our lack of paper trail with our voting machines. It’s being delayed again..

Legislation that the Assembly State Government Committee advanced on Thursday would scrap a Jan. 1 deadline to have all the machines fitted with printers.

So it seems that they’re talking about possibly just trying it out in one municipality in June, with a cost of $1 million for the pilot project, and $26 million to retrofit all of the machines in the state, but that’s not quite true

Well, when you actually look at the bill, it is 1 (small) municipality in each county.:

The pilot program shall be conducted at the primary election to be held on June 2, 2009.  It shall consist of retrofitted voting machines in one municipality in each county that: 1) has no more than ten election districts; and 2) will be using voting machines in the election that the Secretary of State has certified can be adapted to include a voter-verified paper record system.

And how will they be determining whether the results are satisfactory? You’d think that with each county having no more than 10 voting districts (within a single municipality), for a PRIMARY where turnout is likely to be <30% (OK, that’s a guess, and will be different in different towns) a basic thing to do would be to count all of those votes manually, and compare the results to the each of the machine counts. But what does the bill actually propose?

The report shall include information from surveys.

They’ll be asking election board workers and voters  if they liked it. It’s probably a good idea to ask for feedback from people that use the system, but isn’t it more important to test whether the recount would be accurate?

If the Secretary of State likes the results, we’ll have these printers by the Nov 2010 election. If not, I guess it’s back to the drawing board.

If the entire state would cost $26 million, how could it cost $1 million for only one municipality?

Now there are others that want to switch to an optical scan system. I wonder what that would cost? Would it be more or less than the proposed $26 million? The group New Yorkers for Verified Voting estimated in 2005 $10660 per district, and $114,423,640 for the entire state. Connecticut estimated in December 2006 that replacing all of their machines with optical scan machines would cost a total of $15.7 million.

Does anyone know how many voting districts there are in NJ vs. NY or CT? It seems like this might not only be the more verifiable way to go, but it also might be cheaper.

Help Hudson County Vote

Buried deep in the bowels of a boring breakdown of voting in the Jersey City Heights, Hoboken Now writer Carly drops this bomb:

So again, I added up all the votes and came out with Romano winning at 625, Ines next with 162 and Raia last with 117. (Let me know if I did the math wrong; I’m only a blogger.) In case anyone else didn’t know this, the ward districts don’t go in numerical order. And, since this is Hudson County – the vote count from Ward D, District 21 is missing. The cartridge got stuck in the machine, the clerk’s office told us, and those votes won’t be in until next week. Do you think that district holds 500 votes for Ines or Pupie?

The emphasis is all Carly.  Now, I’m pretty sure that this won’t change the outcome of the election – but that wasn’t known when the cartridge “got stuck”.  Or was it?  I mean – Hudson County, you know?

The best machine in the world – and our voting machines are far from that – cannot compensate for the ineptitude of humans.  Whether it is intentional or not.