Kim Alexander's Weblog, San Diego parallel voting results in recount

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Sun Aug 21 2005 - 22:55:38 CDT


Hello All:

Some of you may already have already heard about this however, I though it could be interesting for those of you that haven't. For the record, I'm a San Diego voter and have a partisan stake in the issues here. However, as Jim March can testify, there's something a little odder than usual about this San Diego election.

What is probably of greatest relevance to the group here is that this involves the Diebold 'Acuvote' optical scan ballot reader. These are used at the precinct level here in San Diego County. If it can be demonstrated (above and beyond Black Box voting's interesting demo) that fraud, carelessness, a user hostile system or something equally interesting anywhere between shoving the ballot into the reader and announcing the final results had an impact on the results, this presents many of us with a problem. Plenty of us, myself included, have been saying, "OK, the Acuvote (or equal from other vendor) isn't a very good machine but it's better than a DRE especially without a paper print out." I'm concerned that the current crop of election machine vendors will present the results of this exercise as a reason to charge ahead to DRE machines. Any thoughts other than the obvious opportunity here for OVC?

Also, I'm sure that the people who came up with the idea of a parallel election probably did so independently but I know I suggested this very idea to Arthur Keller a couple of years ago. It does seem like a very convincing and independent way to demonstrate technology and/or administrative failures to the skeptical. One question though, did the parallel voters pledge that they voting the second ballots the same way? This seems like a critic's easiest avenue of attack. After all, a similar argument worked for discrediting the exit polling in the 2004 elections in Ohio. I'm not saying the Ohio results were wrong it just that exit polls are usually right. Also, here's a blurb in the local paper.

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

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Received on Wed Aug 31 23:17:29 2005

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