Feeds

E-voting outfit confesses vote-dropping software bug

Ten years later

Security for virtualized datacentres

Electronic voting machine manufacturer Premier Elections Solutions has warned government officials of a critical programming error that can drop votes before they are tallied.

The logic error is present on Premier's touch screen and optical scan equipment and occurs when votes are being transferred from memory cards to a central database, according to The Washington Post. In some cases, stored votes waiting to be tallied are erased before they can be counted by other stored votes. The mistake occurs in milliseconds. The problem is most likely to plague larger counties that upload a large number of cards.

The only way to detect the error is for elections officials to track the exact number of memory cards fed into the central database and compare it to the number of cards recorded as being read.

Premier, which used to go by the name Diebold, fessed up to the bug after Ohio elections officials complained of irregularities during primary elections in March. After first blaming the problems on human error and bugs in anti-virus software, Premier now admits they were caused by the logic error. The logic error has been part of the software for 10 years.

"We are indeed distressed that our previous analysis of this issue was in error," the company's president, Dave Byrd, wrote in a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. No votes were lost because the nine counties that experienced the cock-up caught it before the results were finalized, Brunner has said.

Premier is recommending all 1,750 jurisdictions that use its equipment follow procedures that remedy the glitch. Evidently, demanding a refund and moving to paper ballots isn't among the recommendations. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
NASTY SSL 3.0 vuln to be revealed soon – sources (Update: It's POODLE)
So nasty no one's even whispering until patch is out
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.