JUS 394 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & SOCIAL JUSTICE
Merlyna Lim, Arizona State University
The (technical) problem
Every electronic voting system has at least six general points-of-failure. A point-
of failure is a part of the system where your vote can be lost or changed. Almost
an inﬁnite number of errors can occur at each point of failure, but each error can
be categorized in one of four ways:
Software error, Hardware error, Deliberate voter fraud,
Malicious tampering or quot;hackingquot;
• Combinations of errors can occur at each and every point-of-failure.
• 1. California, 2003: Diebold installs uncertiﬁed software without notifying authorities.
• 2. California, 2004: State Senate committee passes an urgent bill to ban all computerized
voting in 2004.
• 3. California, 2004: Secretary of state decertiﬁes Diebold for November election.
• 4. Alameda County, 2004: Diebold control modules fail to start up.
• 5. Orange County, 2004: Hart InterCivic Inc. DREs trip circuit breaker and shut down
when batteries die; voters are turned away from the polls.
• 6. Orange County, 2004: Hart access-code confusion causes 7,000 voters to receive the
• 7. San Diego County, 2004: Diebold DREs lose votes; control modules fail to start up
• 8. Bernalillo County, 2002: Insufﬁcient memory results in failure to count 12,000 of
• 9. Arapahoe County, 2004: Failure to maintain DRE battery charge results in expenditure
of more than $100,000 to replace batteries.
• 10. Dallas County, 2002: Election Systems and Software Inc. (ES&S) iVotronic systems
mark incorrect choices on voting screens.
• 11. Harris County, 2003: Hart DREs don't start; voters must use makeshift paper ballots.
• 12. Hinds County, 2003: DREs overheat and break down; election invalidated, then reheld.
• 13. Indiana, 2004: ES&S installs uncertiﬁed software on iVotronic system and admits the
older, certiﬁed version won't tabulate votes.
• 14. Floyd and Coveta Counties, 2002: Diebold DREs lock up; access cards
malfunction; wrong candidates are marked on-screen.
• 15. Bryan and Terrell Counties, 2002: Diebold DRE ballots display wrong races and
omit some altogether.
• 16. Muscogee County, 2003: DREs register quot;yesquot; when voters vote quot;no.quot;
• 17. Georgia, 2004: Diebold ballot encoding mix-ups prevent voting in primary.
• 18. Montgomery County, 2004: Diebold DRE shows incomplete ballot when font is
• 19. Sarasota County, 2004: ES&S DREs fail to count 189 votes.
• 20. Wake County, 2002: ES&S iVotronic software loses 436 ballots.
• 21. Broward County, 2002: ES&S iVotronic error results in failure to count 22% of
• 22. Broward County, 2004: ES&S DREs lose 134 votes; margin is 12 votes.
• 23. Miami-Dade County, 2002: ES&S iVotronic system fails to count 8.2% of the
• 24. Miami-Dade county, 2004: Severe audit log bug in ES&S iVotronic system is
revealed; it had been detected nearly a year earlier.
What would you worry about the most if you
used e-voting in the next Presidential election?