Machines may have vote-dropping glitch

Aug. 22, 2008 at 8:26 AM
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COLUMBUS, Ohio, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- A voting system used in 34 U.S. states has a programming bug that can cause votes to be dropped while being transferred for counting, the manufacturer said.

A spokesman for Premier Election Solutions said Ohio election officials brought the issue to the company's attention after the state's March primary, adding that the logic error has been part of the software for a decade, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The suspect software is on Premier's touch screen and optical scan voting systems and most likely affects larger jurisdictions that upload many memory cards to a central tallying database quickly.

Premier spokesman Chris Riggall told the Post he was "confident" elections officials through the years would have discovered the dropped votes when crosschecking tallies to certify final elections results and could reload memory cards to recapture the votes.

Riggall said a fix can't be issued in time for the general election because the length of time it takes for voting machine certification by local, state and federal officials. However, elections workers in jurisdictions where this could be an issue should be able to correct vote counts during the certification process, the Post said.

About 1,750 jurisdictions use the flawed system, Riggall said.

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