Some Ballots Counted Twice, Others Not At All, Database Found Corrupted, Old, Not Recommended for Use by Microsoft
Raw Election Data Held as 'Diebold Trade Secret' by Registrar Michael Vu Who Was Forced to Resign...Though He's Now Been Hired by San Diego!
By Brad Friedman on 4/21/2007, 1:48pm PT  

There is new information on the Cuyahoga County, Ohio, November 2006 election that shows that voting results on more than 1 in 4 voting systems failed to match up with the results on the central tabulator. The election was held under the administration of Michael Vu, the county's now-resigned Election Director who has, incredibly enough, been immediately hired up by the People's Republic of San Diego County and their former Registrar Mikel Haas (along with Vu, one of America's worst, so he was promoted by the county, naturally!) as the new Assistant Registrar of Voters...

From AP:

CLEVELAND — Computer vote-memory card totals failed to match electronic voting machine ballot tallies in more than one quarter of the samples checked from the November election in the state’s most populous county, an independent audit showed Thursday.

In the 37 sample precincts where results didn’t match, there may have been corrupted memory cards, missing or torn reports, faulty printers or other problems, according to the independent audit commissioned by the Cuyahoga County elections board.
The audit committee found a match among 95 precincts out of 132 precincts in which three races were checked for discrepancies between vote-memory cards and paper records of ballots cast on electronic machines.

Amazing enough, but it gets much, much worse....

From Kim Zetter's Wired report on the same audit of the same disastrous mess, revealing that the Diebold system used to tally election results is built on an old, out of date database engine that even Microsoft recommends against using!...

The database is built from Microsoft's Jet database engine. The engine, according to Microsoft, is vulnerable to corruption when a lot of concurrent activity is happening with the database, such as what occurs on an election night when results are uploaded and various servers are interacting with the database simultaneously. This is why Microsoft advises against using the Jet engine in a complex environment:

Because multiple client processes are reading and writing to the same database and because Jet does not use a transaction log (as do the more advanced database systems, such as SQL Server), it is not possible to reliably prevent any and all database corruption.

Wired also has a copy of the complete audit report [PDF].

The report also reveals that the new Diebold system has made things worse, not better, than even Cuyahoga's old punch card system! For example, on the Diebold op-scan system they use for absentee ballots (they use Diebold touch-screen DREs for Election Day), "some optical scan ballots were scanned twice while others weren't scanned at all," according to Zetter, who adds...

The report notes that with punch card machines election officials used to be able to determine definitively if all ballots had been counted in the results. With the adoption of this new generation of voting equipment, however, the report says "we have reduced rather than increased the accuracy and reliability of our elections results."

And of particular note to San Diegans --- who are also forced to use Diebold's horrible, unreliable, inaccurate voting systems (touch-screen DREs on Election Day, op-scan for absentees) --- where attempts by citizens to view election data have been continuously thwarted by Haas at every turn, comes this further clue as to why Vu will be perfect in his new job!

According to the report, Election Director Michael Vu initially denied the audit team access to the raw vote data to examine because he said Diebold had asserted trade secrets protection over the data. By vote data, they're referring to the vote totals and election reports, not the machine source code. It's unclear why he believed the company had a right to assert such claims over such essential public records data.

Whadaya mean "unclear"? It's perfect! With a record like that, he'll no doubt be promoted from Assistant Registrar to Registrar any day now in San Diego where, rumor has it, the Board of Supervisors are actually considering changing the town's name to San Diebold...though we've yet to be able to confirm that particular report.

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