E-Voting: Paul Krugman: Fear of Fraud:
It’s election night, and early returns suggest trouble for the incumbent. Then, mysteriously, the vote count stops and observers from the challenger’s campaign see employees of a voting-machine company, one wearing a badge that identifies him as a county official, typing instructions at computers with access to the vote-tabulating software.
When the count resumes, the incumbent pulls ahead. The challenger demands an investigation. But there are no ballots to recount, and election officials allied with the incumbent refuse to release data that could shed light on whether there was tampering with the electronic records.
This isn’t a paranoid fantasy. It’s a true account of a recent election in Riverside County, Calif., reported by Andrew Gumbel of the British newspaper The Independent.
Here is Gumbel’s account. It’s quite simply crazy:
On March 4, Floyd and Cassel saw the second Sequoia employee, Eddie Campbell, return to the registrar’s office and watched him pop into his pocket what looked like a PCMCIA card similar to those used to store votes on individual touchscreen machines. The Sequoia AVC Edge machines do not make a paper record of individual votes, and any record of total votes for a potential recount — vital in a race separated only by 45 votes — would only be stored on that kind of card.
Floyd shouted out: ‘Where are you going with that?’ But he received no answer.