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August 08, 2003

The fun of voting, the reliability of Windows CE

BlackBoxVoting.org | What really happened in Georgia?

Someone at Black Box Voting offers up an interview with someone who was apparently a tech working on the project to set up and verify the Diebold touch-screen voting machines used here in Georgia in the 2002 election.

To those of us who have worked in either a) a large corporation, or b) a state organization, it's no surprise that the roll-out didn't come off as planned, but it would seem that a roll-out of voting machines would have a little bit of structure, testing, and security. As far as you can tell from the interview, none of the above were the case.

A bug in the code concerning the Windows CE real-time clock affected around a quarter of the machines, so Diebold's programming team took to FTP'ing patches to a public web server (without passwording the directory or the zip file!) for immediate implementation. According to "Rob," the tech interviewed, many of these files hadn't passed through any formal quality assurance process.

It's a good thing these Diebold people are politically independent. If they weren't, some people might begin to sense a conspiracy.

Seen on Dave Farber's Interesting People mailing list.

August 8, 2003 in Atlanta | Permalink

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