TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Touchscreen voting machines in 11 counties have a software flaw that could make manual recounts impossible in November's presidential election, state officials said.
A spokeswoman for the secretary of state called the problems “minor technical hiccups” that can be resolved, but critics allege voting officials wrongly certified a voting system they knew had a bug.
The electronic voting machines are a response to Florida's 2000 presidential election fiasco, where thousands of punchcard ballots were improperly marked. But the new machines have brought concerns that errors could go unchecked without paper records of the electronic voting.
The machines, made by Election Systems & Software of Omaha, Neb., fail to provide a consistent electronic “event log” of voting activity when asked to reproduce what happened during the election, state officials said.
Officials with the company and the state Division of Elections said they believe they can fix the problem by linking the voting equipment with laptop computers. Florida's two largest counties — Miami-Dade and Broward — are among those affected by the flaws. [Privacy Digest]