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Location: Oaksterdam, California

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Glitch-Free, or out of Touch?

Just another development in the Diebold saga of incompetence. This time in Maryland:
Apparently Diebold has gotten the machines to work relatively well together, but only when using a mouse. If the touchscreen is tapped, the machine loses contact with its peers. Diebold is touting this mouse thing as a fix, and is offering to provide 5,500 mice for their e-poll books if state officials in Maryland give the go-ahead. Unfortunately, during a recent mock election, a poll-worker tapped the touchscreen despite repeated warnings to the contrary, and screwed up the system, requiring a reboot which took 30 seconds. Critics say this fault could allow some voters to vote twice, because if the machine loses contact with its fellows when the voter checks in, their voting status might not be registered.

See it works, just don't touch it. Better yet, don't even look at it...