More Diebold problems

The myriad problems of electronic voting machines have been mentioned here before. Given that 80% of electoral districts in New Hampshire use electronic voting machines – and ones made by the infamous Diebold, at that – it’s not surprising that talk of fraud is circulating in relation to the latest primary. Some commenters are arguing that: “In machine counted precincts, Clinton beat Obama by almost 5%. In hand counted precincts, Obama beat Clinton by over 4%, which closely matches the scientific polls that were conducted leading up to the election” and alleging that this proves either unintentional bugs in the voting system or fraud.

The issue is less the outcome of that particular contest and more the way in which electronic voting machines diminish the perceived validity of elections. Given how they have been proven insecure again and again, and given how straightforward and manageable counting paper ballots is, there really isn’t much reason for anyone to use these machines. Hopefully, the world will finally figure this out soon.

Related prior posts:

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

8 thoughts on “More Diebold problems”

  1. I heard Diebold was getting out of the electronic voting business. Apparently, the association is hurting their brand name too much.

  2. Since most will fail to make use of their right to vote (or myriad other contingencies, including fraud) , elections will fall into the hands of factions, thus making their result subject to special interest and contingencies – the exact thing mass elections were meant to avoid.

  3. R.K.,

    I heard something about that on Slashdot, but nothing recently. Even if Diebold stops making new machines, it is largely their old ones being used across America.


    I think elections have always been meant to arbitrate between groups with special interests. That is inherent to the process. Doubts about electronic voting call into account the integrity of the process, they don’t really alter the nature of electoral contests (except if someone actually cheats).

  4. Maryland Scraps Diebold Voting System

    By ScuttleMonkey on long-overdue

    beadfulthings writes “After eight years and some $65 million, the state of Maryland is taking its first steps to return to an accountable, paper-ballot based voting system. Governor Martin O’Malley has announced an initial outlay of $6.5 million towards the $20 million cost of an optical system which will scan and tally the votes while the paper ballots are retained as a backup. The new (or old) system is expected to be in place by 2010 — or four years before the state finishes paying off the bill for the touch-screen system.”

  5. Hacking the vote

    Jan 25th 2008
    Reliability, more than fraud, bugs voting machines

    AS AMERICA’S presidential election process stumbles its way towards November, fears are surfacing of yet another Florida- or Ohio-style voting fiasco. In the New Hampshire primary on January 8th, both independent polls before the election and exit polls on the day itself predicted that Barack Obama would soundly defeat Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary. Mrs Clinton’s surprising upset cast fresh doubts over the reliability of the computerised machines used to count the vote.

  6. Voting Technology and the 2008 New Hampshire Primary: Herron, Mebane, and Wand don’t find any problems
    In the Democratic Primary, Hillary Clinton was more successful in New Hampshire wards that used Accuvote optical scan vote tabulating technology than was Barack Obama, receiving 4.3 more percentage points of the vote there (40.2% for Clinton versus 35.9% for Obama). In contrast, Clinton did worse than Obama in wards that counted paper ballots by hand, trailing by 6.1 percentage points (33.7% versus 39.8%).

    With respect to Hillary Clinton’s surprise victory in the Democratic Primary and the differences across vote tabulation technologies in Clinton’s and others’ votes, our results are consistent with these differences being due entirely to the fact that New Hampshire wards that use Accuvote optical scan machines have voters with different political preferences than wards that use hand counted paper ballots.

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