Feeds

E-voting outfit confesses vote-dropping software bug

Ten years later

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Obama allows NSA to exploit 0-days: report
If the spooks say they need it, they get it
Parent gabfest Mumsnet hit by SSL bug: My heart bleeds, grins hacker
Natter-board tells middle-class Britain to purée its passwords
Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed
Vendors and ISPs have work to do updating firmware - if it's possible to fix this
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'
So it begins ... or maybe not, says one analyst
Experian subsidiary faces MEGA-PROBE for 'selling consumer data to fraudster'
US attorneys general roll up sleeves, snap on gloves
NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS
Agency forgets it exists to protect communications, not just spy on them
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.