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An election day disaster in Pennsylvania raises still more concerns for 2020


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We don't need to speculate on what might happen if, because of sabotage or simple malfunction, the electronic voting machines now ubiquitous throughout the nation were to simply not work on a vitally important Election Day, altering the votes, tossing others, and possibly throwing entire elections to a candidate who hasn’t actually won. We already have examples. Less than a month ago, a Pennsylvania county's new top-of-the-line voting machines did exactly that.

From The New York Times:

Vote totals in a Northampton County judge’s race showed one candidate, Abe Kassis, a Democrat, had just 164 votes out of 55,000 ballots across more than 100 precincts. Some machines reported zero votes for him. In a county with the ability to vote for a straight-party ticket, one candidate’s zero votes was a near statistical impossibility. Something had gone quite wrong.

That something was, it soon proved, the Election Systems & Software-manufactured voting system, ExpressVoteXL, reporting wildly inaccurate vote totals: A recount of the paper backup ballots produced by the machines showed that the Democrat did not get 164 votes in the election, but 26,142. Officials don't yet know why the machines returned invalid results; we also don't know, of course, whether results in other elections in other counties and states had similar but less severe problems that were not so improbable as to spur officials to recount. It's entirely possible that elections were thrown, just in the last few years, by software error.

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