Programming failure in voting machines leads to election chaos

A human programming error in a series of voting machines used this week in a Pennsylvania county has left chaos behind.
File photo

‘What you read and what the computer reads are two different things’

Bob Unruh
WND News Center

A human programming error in a series of voting machines used this week in a Pennsylvania county has left chaos behind – and confirmed what many who have watched suspicious results trotted out in recent elections as absolute truth feared: Those machines are not infallible.

The situation developed in Northampton County where voters responded to a ballot question about the retention of two Superior Court judges.

It seems the “yes” and “no” options on a printed copy of the results were not the same as what had been punched in on the computer.

At issue were the tenures of judges Jack Panella and Victor Stabile.

“Due to a coding error, however, whichever answer was chosen for Panella showed up for Stabile, and vice versa.”

“What you read and what the computer reads are two different things,” said Charles Dertinger, the county’s director of administration.

The Post Millennial explained an estimated 300 voting machines in the county were hit by the problem.

County executive Lamont McClure said, “It’s our job to help give people confidence, help give them peace of mind in their voting processes.”

The report noted the ExpressVote XL machines were obtained by the county in 2019 through a contract with Election Systems & Software, a Nebraska company that took blame for the fiasco.

Slay News reported what happened, “If a voter marked ‘yes’ to retain Panella and ‘no’ on Stabile, for example, it was reflected as ‘no’ on Panella and ‘yes’ on Stabile.”

The Pennsylvania Department of State claimed no races were affected beyond the two judicial retention decisions.

The report said election security advocates previously sued the state over its certification of the ExpressVoteXL system, and a settlement has election officials recording and publicly reporting problems that develop.

Rich Garella of Protect Our Vote Philly, suggested a solution: “Every malfunctioning machine should be immediately pulled from service and every voter should receive an emergency paper ballot.”

There are doubts raised about electronic voting machines literally every election, as those who accept the results must believe in the absolute impossibility of results being skewed, either by accident or by malicious scheming.

WND reported only a few months ago that a 96-page report from an expert in computer election security concluded one model of Dominion voting machine, those suspected of allowing manipulation during the 2020 election, actually has “critical vulnerabilities that can be exploited to subvert all of its security mechanisms.”

In the unsealed July 1, 2021 report, University of Michigan computer science professor Alex Halderman, with the help of Prof. Drew Springall, conducts a “security analysis” of Dominion Voting System’s “ballot marking devices,” or BMDs, in particular, the corporation’s “ImageCast X (ICX) BMD.”

The unsealing of the “Halderman Report” by a federal judge was part of a long-running case brought by citizens attempting to block Georgia from using the Dominion machines. Halderman’s deep analysis has led many of the same media who belittled Donald Trump and conservatives who claimed vote fraud in 2020 to switch their attention back to the potential for hacking in Dominion Voting System’s voting machines.

“Expert report fuels election doubts as Georgia waits to update voting software: A newly unsealed expert report arguing that Georgia’s Dominion voting machines are vulnerable to hacking is fueling election doubts in Georgia,” read a headline in an NBC News story.

Dominion, which reached a $787 million settlement with Fox News over what it said were erroneous claims by Fox hosts about its machines, repeatedly has discounted information about the possibilities they were hacked, or performed incorrectly.

Halderman concluded, “My technical findings leave Georgia voters with greatly diminished grounds to be confident that the votes they cast on [the current Dominion ballot-marking devices] are secured, that their votes will be counted correctly, or that any future elections using Georgia’s [ballot-marking devices] will be reasonably secure from attack and produce correct results.”

In fact, he explained how he could “compromise” a Dominion machine: “I played the role of an attacker and attempted to discover ways to compromise the system and change votes. I, along with my assistant, spent a total of approximately twelve person-weeks studying the machines, testing for vulnerabilities, and developing proof-of-concept attacks. Many of the attacks I successfully implemented could be effectuated by malicious actors with very limited time and access to the machines, as little as mere minutes.”

Also read:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *