Maryland, Illinois Voting Machines May be Rigged for Democrats Tuesday, 28 Oct 2014 11:28 AM
By Melanie Batley
A number of voting machines in Maryland and Illinois are electronically switching Republican votes to the Democrats, raising suspicions that fraud could be at the root of the alleged malfunction.
According to Watchdog.org, election officials in both states have characterized the problem as a “calibration issue,” but a software developer and expert on touch screens used by U.S. intelligence agencies told Newsmax that the explanation was bogus.
“It’s a software issue, and it’s incredibly suspicious that a bug like that could slip through accidentally. It defies belief,” said Tony Heller.
He said that any expert trained in the technology could figure out within minutes whether the problem with the software was accidental and deliberate.
“This is being used by the public for voting. Public trust is essential,” he said. “It’s completely unacceptable that an official waved it off as a calibration issue. It’s something that can be easily verified and should be.”
The reason I am in Maryland is to develop touch screen software used by US intelligence services. Calibration error on these devices is normally a few pixels. An error that large (dozens of pixels) is almost certainly a software problem.
It would be easy to determine and essential for the public trust that the entire revision control of their source code is made public. Only open source code should be permitted for government operations.
It is totally unacceptable that this problem was found by voters, rather than election officials. What are they paid for? How many Republican votes were miscounted as Democrats? This type of violation of trust destroys the most fundamental underpinnings of our system of government.
Maryland verifies their system based on the number of votes recorded. Apparently it doesn’t matter if they recorded the vote correctly. The state’s definition of accuracy and error rate is absurd.
Advantages of Maryland’s Voting System
One way to measure the accuracy of a voting system is to calculate and compare voter error rates. The more accurate the voting system is, the fewer number of voter errors there will be. Voter error rate is the number of voters who voted but did not have a vote counted for a specific contest on the ballot (typically President or Governor). This is calculated by subtracting the total number of votes cast for President or Governor from the total number of voters who voted.
Using this measure, Maryland had the lowest voter error rate in the country in 2004. (See Residual Vote in the 2004 Election, CalTech/MIT Voting Technology Project.) In the 2004 General Election, only 0.3% of the voters who voted did not have a vote recorded for President. This is a 40% reduction from 2000 – the last election when optical scan and punchcard voting systems and mechanical lever machines were used for polling place voting in Maryland.
Maryland’s transition to a touchscreen voting system from paper-based and older voting systems improved the accuracy of the vote count and reduced the number of voter errors. Our results are consistent with findings reported in the same CalTech/MIT Voting Technology Project report, which shows that implementing a touchscreen voting system reduces voter error.