Diebold AccuVote TS

From SourceWatch
Jump to: navigation, search
You Have the Right to Vote.jpg

This page is part of the Election Protection Wiki,
a non-partisan, non-profit collaboration of citizens, activists and researchers to collect reports of voter suppression and the systemic threats to election integrity.

Things you can do:


Home | EPWiki Google Group | Other states | EP issues | EP news | Get active at VSW | Related: Wiki the Vote

The AccuVote-TS[1] is a Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) voting machine by Diebold Election Systems. This article generally describes the specific AccuVote-TS model.

Main article: Voting machines

Design and operation

Voter verification

The AccuVote-TS does NOT have a Federally-Qualified Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail Capability.

Brief description

The AccuVote-TS is likely the widest-deployed of all of Diebold's voting systems. It is a smart-card activated multilingual touchscreen system that records votes on internal flash memory. Voters insert a "smart-card" into the machine and then make their choices by touching an area on a computer screen, much in the same way that modern ATMs work. The votes are then recorded to internal electronic memory. When polls close, the votes for a particular machine are written to a “PCMCIA card” which is removed from the system and either physically transported to election headquarters or their contents transmitted via computer network.

Detailed Voting Process

Detailed Voting Process: When the voter enters the precinct, he or she is given a "smartcard" by a poll worker after confirming the voter is registered. A "smart-card" is acard the size and shape of a credit-card which contains a computer chip, some memory and basic data such as the voter's voting language and political party. The voter then takes the smart-card to a voting machine and inserts the smart-card into the machine to allow voting. After using the touchscreen to vote, 1) the record of the vote is directly recorded electronically to multiple, internal flash memory cards and 2) the voter's smartcard is reset to ensure that it can only be used to vote once. The smart-card pops out of the machine with a loud "click" and the voter returns it to a poll worker.

When the polls close, a poll worker or election official inserts a different-type of smartcard, an administrator card, into each voting machine and puts the machine into a postelection mode where it will no longer record votes. At this point, the machine writes the votes from its internal memory to flash memory on a "PCMCIA card". The PCMCIA card is merely a removable form of flash memory. A printed tape of all votes cast or vote totals for the voting machine can also be printed out at this time depending on local procedure and regulations.

The PCMCIA cards are taken out of each machine and either taken to a central tabulation facility or to remote tabulation facilities. At the tabulation facility the votes are read out of the PCMCIA cards and into a central computer database where precincts are combined to result in an aggregate vote. For remote facilities, the votes are transmitted to the central tabulation facility via a closed "Intranet", the Internet or modem. The PCMCIA cards and any printouts from the voting machines can then become part of the official record of the election.

Reported problems

Pre-2008 election

  • May 2006: Ohio. Machine malfunctions delay polls from opening until 1:30pm and scanners fail to tabulate properly. Electronic ballot boxes were lost in two counties. Voter access card failures, paper jams, and even a missing electrical adapter on the touch screen machines caused election problems. Screen review doesn't match ballot printout and short cables cause machine placement that violates voter privacy.[2]
  • September 2005: Georgia. New “upgraded” software caused technical problems during the modem transmission of vote data. Then, the final tally showed that 285 ballots were completely blank, and the margin of victory was only 117 votes.[2]
  • July 2005: California. After testing 96 touch screen machines and finding a 10% error rate, Secretary of State Bruce McPherson rejected Diebold's application to certify the AccuVote TSx touch screen with AccuView printer module.[2]
  • March 2005: Maryland. Election day problems include: 7% of all units deployed on election day failed, an additional 5% were suspect based on the number of votes captured. The unit failures resulted from a variety of issues ranging from machines that would not boot up, to screen freeze, to failure of card readers and hardware.5 November 2004: Maryland. On election day, TrueVoteMD registered 383 reports involving 531 incidents of problems encountered by voters. Many voters reported votes switching on the screens.[2]
  • September 2004: Maryland. The sensitive touch screen registered U.S. Senator Mikulski's vote incorrectly during a demonstration at a local festival.[2]
  • July 2004: Georgia. Problems ranged from failing machines, to overheating machines, to incorrect summary pages, to incorrect ballots, to lost ballots. A procedural error in advance voting revealed that Georgia citizens' Constitutional right to ballot secrecy is violated when they voting early on the touch screens. Touch screen voting machines reported U.S. Senate votes from only six out of seven Democratic voters. While the machines reported 14.5% Democratic undervotes for U.S. Senate, they reported only 3.2% Republican undervotes.[2]
  • April 2004: California. Secretary of State Kevin Shelley called on the Attorney General to bring criminal charges against voting-machine-maker Diebold Election Systems for fraud. The reasons are explained in the staff report of the California Voting Systems and Procedures Panel. Mr. Shelley decertified the AccuVote TS shortly thereafter.[2]
  • March 2004: California. A bug in the firmware, caught during pre-election testing, prevented votes from being cast when certain race combinations were selected using the write-in functionality.[2]
  • March 2004: California. 55% of precincts in San Diego county experienced malfunctions due to battery problems that prevented polling places from opening on time. Voters were told to return later in the day but it is unknown how many were able to do so.[3]
  • March 2004: Maryland. At least one voter using Diebold election equipment was not presented with the entire ballot. Poll workers indicated that they knew of such errors when the ballot magnification feature was activated.[4] November 2003: Georgia. Allegations of widespread complaints by citizens who voted “no” on a sales tax proposition but saw Diebold machines register “yes” caused county officials to take the machine out of service during the election.[5]
  • April 2002: Kansas. In Johnson County, an unexplained software error caused voting machines to miscount votes. Some modems used to transmit results from polling places to the central election office failed. After this latter incident, cartridges that record results are hand-delivered to the office. Also, results were misreported in six races. The system miscounted hundreds of votes, and a re-count was ordered.[6]
  • November 2002: Maryland. When voters voted for the Republican candidate for governor, an ‘X’ appeared beside the name of the Democratic candidate.[7]


NASED Qualification Status

The National Association of State Election Directors NASED Qualification Status:[8]

  • 07/07/05: AccuVote TS Precinct Counter Rev 6 version 1.0.2
  • 05/20/04: AccuVote TS-R6 Precinct Counter Firmware Version 4.3.15D

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

Note: This article was originally copied from the Electronic Frontier Foundation's fact sheet, "Electronic Voting Machine Information Sheet: Diebold Election Systems — AccuVote-TSx", Version 1.1 of October 29, 2006. See more EFF articles on voting machines at http://w2.eff.org/Activism/E-voting/protection.php

  1. See http://www.diebold.com/dieboldes/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 “Diebold in the News — A Partial List of Documented Failures”
  3. Report on March 2, 2004 Statewide Primary Election. California Office of the Secretary of State.
  4. “Think You Voted in Md.? Think Again,” THE WASHINGTON POST, March 7, 2004.
  5. “NAACP disputes sales tax results, DuBose files complaint in Muscogee Superior Court.” LEDGER ENQUIRER, November 13, 2003.
  6. “New Voting Technology is Questioned: Computer Systems Can Be Tampered With, Critics Say.” THE KANSAS CITY STAR, September 21, 2003.
  7. “Glitches cited at some polls.” THE WASHINGTON TIMES, November 6, 2002
  8. NASED Qualified Voting Systems (11/18/2005). National Association of State Election Directors

References: “Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine ,” Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University, September, 2006. See http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting/. Diebold’s response may be found at http://www.diebold.com/dieboldes/pdf/princetonstatement.pdf.

Tadayoshi Kohno, Adam Stubblefield, Aviel D. Rubin, and Dan S. Wallach, “Analysis of an Electronic Voting Machine”, IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2004. IEEE Computer Society Press, May 2004. See: http://avirubin.com/vote.pdf

“DRE Security Assessment, Volume 1, Computerized Voting Systems, Summary of Findings and Recommendations,” InfoSENTRY, 21 Nov. 2003. See: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/hava/files/InfoSentry1.pdf

“Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Technical Security Assessment Report,” Compuware Corporation, 21 Nov. 2003. See: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/hava/files/compuware.pdf “Risk Assessment Report: Diebold Accuvote-TS Voting System and Processes (redacted)”, Science Applications International Corporation SAIC-6099-2003-261, Sept. 2, 2003. See: http://www.dbm.maryland.gov/SBE

“Trusted Agent Report -- Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting System,” RABA Technologies, Jan. 20, 2004. See: http://www.raba.com/text/press/TA_Report_AccuVote.pdf

External resources

“Security Analysis of the Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting Machine ,” Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University, September, 2006. See http://itpolicy.princeton.edu/voting/. Diebold’s response may be found at http://www.diebold.com/dieboldes/pdf/princetonstatement.pdf.

Tadayoshi Kohno, Adam Stubblefield, Aviel D. Rubin, and Dan S. Wallach, “Analysis of an Electronic Voting Machine”, IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy 2004. IEEE Computer Society Press, May 2004. See: http://avirubin.com/vote.pdf

“DRE Security Assessment, Volume 1, Computerized Voting Systems, Summary of Findings and Recommendations,” InfoSENTRY, 21 Nov. 2003. See: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/hava/files/InfoSentry1.pdf

“Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Technical Security Assessment Report,” Compuware Corporation, 21 Nov. 2003. See: http://www.sos.state.oh.us/sos/hava/files/compuware.pdf

“Risk Assessment Report: Diebold Accuvote-TS Voting System and Processes (redacted)”, Science Applications International Corporation SAIC-6099-2003-261, Sept. 2, 2003. See: http://www.dbm.maryland.gov/SBE

“Trusted Agent Report -- Diebold AccuVote-TS Voting System,” RABA Technologies, Jan. 20, 2004. See: http://www.raba.com/text/press/TA_Report_AccuVote.pdf


External articles