November 1, 2004 | By Donna Wentworth

"Touchy" Touch-Screen Machines - An Update

Unfortunately, this problem -- spotted early on -- isn't going away.

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Voters from at least half a dozen states reported that touch-screen voting machines had incorrectly recorded their choices, including for president.

Voters discovered the problems when checking the review screen at the end of the voting process. [...]

Election observers with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Verified Voting Foundation (VVF) reported today that the problem, which some voting officials initially attributed to fluke "voter error," is evidently widespread and may even be relatively common with touch-screen machines. Incorrectly recorded votes make up roughly 20 percent of the e-voting problems reported through the Election Incident Reporting System (EIRS), an online database in which volunteers with the Election Protection Coalition, a coalition of non-partisan election observers dedicated to preventing voter disenfranchisement, are recording and tracking voting problems.

For voters, these incidents underscore the need to carefully review ballots during the final portion of the electronic voting process. But they also point to the larger issue: using touch-screen voting systems vulnerable to this kind of error, combined with poll workers and voters unfamiliar with the new systems, substantially increases the chances of voter disenfranchisement.


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