One of their findings describes what at least two voters in Palo Pinto County and many throughout the nation recently experienced - “numerous persons reported that touch screens would appear pre-voted, or else would select the Republican box when the Democratic candidate's box was pressed either with a finger or the stylus provided.”
In support of DREs
After overseeing six presidential elections in Dallas County, Elections Administrator Bruce Sherbet has experienced technology peaks and valleys. However, for this election he said, “Voting technology is now better than ever before mostly because the human factor has been taken out of the process.”
What he likes about the new voting machine technology is that the iVotronic “stores votes in three different independent areas.”
Dallas County uses 500-700 electronic touch-screen voting machines - the same type as Palo Pinto County - only used during early voting. For election day, Sherbet employees optical scan machines.
So far, Dallas County has had over 370,000 voters at 26 polling sites, with no machines producing a problem. However, Sherbet said one voter reported a problem, which started his protocol - someone assisting the voter to see if they can replicate the reported problem, taking the machine out of service so a technician can check the machine's calibration and can check to see if they can replicate what the voter said happened.
“We checked [the machine with the reported problem] thoroughly to make sure there wasn't a problem and put it back in use,” he said. “We err on the side of the voter if a voter reports a problem to us and show us what they say [the machine] is doing.”
The imperfect paper trail
“Just having a paper trail doesn't solve the transparency problem with these machines if election officials don't look at the paper trail,” warned Zetter. “That's why states need to also pass a law that requires all counties to conduct a mandatory manual audit of at least 1 percent of votes after every election. California and a number of other states have this law. This means that election officials would have to take 1 percent of the paper trails and compare them against the digital votes coming from the same machines to ensure that they match. In this way, they can uncover possible problems with the machines and investigate further if needed.”