Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Voting Machine Audit Logs Raise More Questions about Lost Votes in CA Election

Kim Zetter writes on Threat Level:

Computer audit logs showing what occurred on a vote tabulation system that lost ballots in the November election are raising more questions not only about how the votes were lost, but also about the general reliability of voting system audit logs to record what occurs during an election and to ensure the integrity of results.

The logs, which Threat Level obtained through a public records request from Humboldt County, California, are produced by the Global Election Management System, the tabulation software, also known as GEMS, that counts the votes cast on all voting machines -- touch-screen and optical-scan machines -- made by Premier Election Solutions (formerly called Diebold Election Systems).

The logs are at the core of an investigation that the California secretary of state's office is conducting to determine why the GEMS tabulation system deleted 197 ballots from the tallies of one precinct in Humboldt County during the November 4 general election. But instead of providing transparency into what occurred on the system, the GEMS logs have so far only baffled state investigators. Deputy Secretary of State Lowell Finley has referred to the logs as "'Greek' to anyone other than a programmer."

A computer scientist who is a recognized expert on electronic voting machines says the logs are no clearer to him.

More here.


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