GAO investigation of e-voting problems requested

Democrats have asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate reports of voting irregularities, many involving electronic touch-screen voting machines.

Half-a-dozen Democratic congressmen have asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate reports of voting irregularities in the Nov. 2 election, many of them involving electronic touch-screen voting machines.A Nov. 5 letter to comptroller general David M. Walker cited news reports of problems in California, Florida, North Carolina and Ohio in which thousands of votes were erroneously recorded, deleted or added.“We are literally receiving additional reports every minute,” the representatives said in the letter.The request was followed up with a second letter Nov. 8 referencing additional complaints reported on public Web sites and received in congressional offices.New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler placed a form on his Wednesday to let individuals submit complaints and comments on the election. Nadler, one of the signers of the letters, is the ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.Nadler’s Washington office director John Doty said Judiciary Democrats probably would call for hearings early next year on voting rights, technology and standards. Scheduling hearings would be up to the Republican majority.The investigation is not a challenge of the election, Doty said.“At this point it does not look like there are going to be so many votes it would overturn the election,” he said. “But if there are problems, we want to correct them.”The issue of electronic voting has become a hot topic as states begin investing in new voting machines, many of them using computer technology that records votes electronically.A number of computer scientists and voting rights activists have questioned the security and reliability of machines that record votes electronically with no paper ballots. The computer-based machines are subject to errors in code and security breaches, and no meaningful recount is possible without a separate ballot, they said.“Paperless electronic-voting systems are completely unacceptable,” Dan Wallach, assistant professor of computer science at Rice University said earlier this week at a computer security conference in Washington. State and local governments conduct elections. The federal government historically has not set rules for the nuts and bolts of casting and counting votes. The Help America Vote Act, passed in the wake of the disputed presidential election of 2000, is the federal government’s first foray into that area. But HAVA’s key requirements do not kick in until 2006, when voting systems used in federal elections will have to provide for error correction by voters, manual auditing, accessibility, alternative languages and compliance with federal error-rate standards.Work on standards has just begun. The National Institute of Standards and Technology chairs a committee producing voluntary guidelines for developing electronic voting software for the Election Assistance Commission.Nevada this year was the first state to require electronic voting machines to produce a paper ballot for recounts. But 31 percent of those questioned in an election-day survey in Las Vegas did not even know their machines were producing a paper ballot. Only 59 percent examined the ballot to confirm their choices before casting their votes.A bill introduced by Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey, who signed the letters requesting a GAO study, would require voting machines to produce paper ballots or other auditable records for manual recounts. That bill, HR 2239 [http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c108:4:./temp/~c1084vsal6::] has not been acted on since being referred to the House Committee on House Administration in May 2003.Other Democrats joining the request to GAO are John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, Robert C. Scott of Virginia, Melvin Watt of North Carolina and Robert Wexler of Florida.

NEXT STORY: Lisagor: Urban legends

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.