FROM:   Saskia Mills, CVF Executive Director
DATE:   November 12, 2001
RE:   Voting technology news

Hi Folks,

Two important voting technology developments have been reported in the news recently. An article in Saturday's Los Angeles Times describes how a programming error in San Bernardino County's computer ballot-counting system may have resulted in an incorrect tabulation of votes in 33 contests in last Tuesday's election.

"A county employee erroneously programmed the computer so that, for instance, it sometimes read the punch-card lists from the bottom up. A hole punched for the last candidate listed in a race, therefore, would have been read as a vote for the first, county spokesman David Wert said.

County officials said the good news is that using a card-counting system means that ballots are still around to be recounted. If the same error had occurred with an electronic voting system, there would be no paper record, Wert said."

Software consultants brought in to review the computer programming have said that vote totals in most of the 33 affected races will change; a recount will be completed by next week.

Additionally, today's San Francisco Chronicle features a story by Carla Marinucci about the conclusions of a yearlong media study on Florida's contested 2000 election. The study showed that "Bush and Gore were both potential winners, depending on how the ballots were counted" and led many of those who reviewed it to comment that perhaps the most important thing about the study is that is underscores the need for election reform.

Both of these stories, along with other articles and voting technology resources, are linked from CVF's Voting Technology page at

-- Saskia Mills, Executive Director
California Voter Foundation, (530) 750-7650

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This page was first published on November 12, 2001 | Last updated on November 12, 2001
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