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Vendor: software ‘shortcoming’ led to Wellington election fiasco

by George Bennett | March 23rd, 2012

The supplier of Palm Beach County’s voting and tabulating equipment says a software “shortcoming” led to votes being assigned to the wrong candidates and the elections office declaring the wrong winners in two recent Wellington council races.

Ballots from the March 13 Wellington election were counted properly. But the results were matched to the wrong races. Council candidates Shauna Hostetler and Al Paglia were declared winners on election night, but an audit six days later showed John Greene and Matt Willhite had in fact gotten more votes.

Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher blamed a software glitch rather than human error for the problem. Today, she released a statement sent to her office from Dominion Voting Systems Vice President Waldeep Singh.

The vendor’s statement: “The incorrect reporting of vote totals which occurred in the Wellington election was caused by a mismatch between the software which generates the paper ballots and the central tally system. This synchronization difficulty is a shortcoming of the version of software currently being used in Palm Beach County and that shortcoming has been addressed in a subsequent version of the software. These enhancements help to prevent such an anomaly from occurring in the future. Dominion is in the process of providing this newer version to Palm Beach County.”

9 Responses to “Vendor: software ‘shortcoming’ led to Wellington election fiasco”

  1. SheliaJoy Says:

    I am not buying this explanation. Everybody with a computer knows that you have to “up-date” software. If Dominion had an up-dated version; why wasn’t it installed when the new version was created.

    Why did it take an error during an election to discover this?

    Does PBC have a contract with Dominion that mandates newer version of software be provided?

    When was this new version created? Has this error occured before and we just did not know?

    What assurances did Dominion make to be sure this does not occur in November?

    What is the Elections office doing to make sure ALL votes are counted?

    This story should not be on a blog. This is front page stuff.

  2. Not Buying It Says:

    I agree Sheila. On Monday, the software manufacturer said they didn’t know what caused the problem. Now they say she didn’t have the most updated version? Sounds fishy!

  3. Frank Says:

    Of course you’re not buying it – nothing like partisan denial. I watched Susan Bucher in action many times in the Legislature. In many cases, she would be the only legislator on a committee actually asking questions to try and understand quickly proposed legislative changes (e.g. here’s a 150 page bill; we vote on it in 30 minutes). Almost always, she was right on point with her questions and observations. Far-right Republican legislators hated her for asking questions, as sometimes she’d actually convinced moderate Republicans to side with her and propose admendments clarifying and removing obnoxious provisions. She continues to be a professional in handling this job.

  4. Susan needs to go Says:

    If Susan Bucher couldn’t handle the questions being presented to her by local reporters just imagine her demeanor if it were the entire state and national media.

    Very robotic and hiding great anger.

  5. Phil N. D'Oval Says:

    Elections software isn’t like your stupid Windows that you can just update at any time. It has to be certified by the Division of Elections in Tallahassee. Implementing new software isn’t typically done in the middle of a bunch of elections (gee, I wonder why they’d wait until the elections are over?). Get some facts about it before running off at the mouth.

  6. Jae Kub Says:

    I want now free internet tv software download.becouse this very good.

  7. Carrie Says:

    Sounds like DieBold Voting Software. Ya’ll remember DieBold voting software— RIGHT?

    It help G Dubya Bush throw a Presidential election in 2004

    Nothing says RepubliCON More than a cheating lying software like DieBold!

    The Truth

    Plain $ Simple!

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  9. Brent Turner Says:

    This is another addition to a lengthy list of reasons why corporations can not be in control of the election software systems. The country / world has suffered long enough from botched elections.. Though some say we should remove the electronics and ” hand count” ( ala Iran, Afghanistan ) most agree that is a red-herring.. and better groups advocate a mandatory paper ballot / open source software system. These systems have been demonstrated and presented to Congress and the White House.. Sadly, Microsoft and the intellectual property lobbyists block legislative effort toward reform.

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