|Truth, Lies, & Politics
When is a coincidence too much of a
coincidence to be one?
Fiction Stops Here
|GAO D-13: Voters with Secret Decoder Rings
Get Votes Counted
|GAO's latest review of iVotronic DRE/touch screen voting
systems concentrates on three areas of additional testing:
firmware verification, ballot testing, and calibration of the
touch screens. This article takes a look at calibration and the
GAO's inconclusive assessment. It should be noted that after
waiting over a year for a comprehensive evaluation of
calibration as a cause to Sarasota's missing 18,000 votes it
appears one will not be forthcoming. Calibration remains a
viable cause of the missing 18,000.
When a touch screen is properly "calibrated," you touch the
touch screen on the "touch here" spot and the touch screen
computer recognizes your touch and does what it's told to
do. This is true of touch screens at your local bank, the
supermarket, the airport, as well as those in your voting
booth. Except perhaps those used in Sarasota's District 13
and several other counties across the state.
After testing TWO iVotronic DRE/touch screen voting
systems, GAO concludes "without absolute assurance" that
miscalibrated iVotronic DREs did not contribute to Florida's
District 13 high undervote. All things being equal, if all 1,499
iVotronic touch screens were in perfect working order, no
bubbles, no smoothing filters, no external influences, no
other intermittent hardware or software quirks or flaws . . .
Testing only TWO of 1,499 machines . . . . . . TWO machines?
Are you convinced? Furthermore, there is no indication that
any of the iVotronic machines registering high undervote
counts were tested at all.
The GAO report also illustrates a pair of notable calibration
test examples. As shown, testers touch the iVotronic screen
approximately 1 inch to 1½ inches away from the targeted
"vote-here" position and their candidate is selected. (In these
examples, touching the touch screen dead-on the "vote-here"
position does not work. No candidate is selected.)
The inference here appears to be that if the voters poke at
the touch screen enough times, eventually they hit the sweet
spot. Ultimately, if voters get lucky and succeed in poking the
invisible dot, their votes are counted correctly. So there, the
machines work. All you need is a secret decoder ring.
As voters, let's not confuse "we didn't find a bug" with
"exoneration." For as thorough as the cumulative GAO studies
were, there are yet too many technical paths not taken, too
many questions not answered. 18,000 votes are still missing in
Sarasota. 89,000 missing votes statewide remain ignored.