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Serious Error in Diebold Voting Software Caused Lost Ballots in California County

Dec 10, 2008, 12:05 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kim Zetter)

"An investigation shows that the paper mail-in ballots were scanned properly by officials into the central-count optical-scan system made by Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems) -- a receipt printed out by the machine at the time they were scanned on November 1, three days before the election, indicates that the machine recorded the ballots. The ballots even showed up in preliminary tallies counted on election night on November 4 and in a report printed out on November 23. But some time after this point, the tabulation software inexplicably deleted the ballots without election officials ever knowing.

"Premier has acknowledged that a problem with its software caused the system to delete votes. The company has apparently known about the problem since 2004 and provided some election officials with a workaround, though Humboldt County election director Carolyn Crnich said she'd never been told of the problem. The issue involved a programming error that caused ballots to be randomly dropped from the tabulation software, without providing any indication to officials running the system that it was doing so."

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