Of Voting Machines and Accurate Miscalibrations

The whole world watches closely as the next president is being elected in the United States. The results of this election will affect many decisions the world over. In the midst of this world-changing event, an interesting and embarrassing matter has come to light. A voting machine in Pennsylvania was found to have an amusing miscalibration. Pennsylvania is the sixth most populous state in the US, and the news has attracted a wide coverage from major media outlets.

The miscalibration seems to be with the on-screen vote button for Barack Obama, which places the vote in favor of Mitt Romney instead! The touch vote for Romney works just fine, and so do the other two buttons for two other candidates. The irregularity has been discovered by a Reddit user who goes by the name of “centrapavote”. He commented on the video showing the glitch around five hours ago, and has become the talk of the town since it was submitted to Reddit by his friend.

There are three manufacturers involved in making voting machines for this election, and one of them has links to Bain Capital, which has links to Romney. However, this is not the first incident of voting machines behaving badly. Voting machines are far from secure and this is a well-established fact. These machines have been ridiculed enough by hackers at DEFCON.

A similar issue was detected with a voting machine in North Carolina too. These voting machines are designed for one single purpose, and they failed to do just that! Somewhere, someone in charge of QA is having a bad day.

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Chinmoy Kanjilal

Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.