Thursday, November 19, 2009

Uh, oh, "virus" infected NY-23 computerized voting machines

A local newspaper in upstate New York's 23rd Congressional District, scene of the hard-fought and nationally prominent special election (won -- so far anyway -- by the Democrat after his Conservative opponent conceded) reports that a computer virus may have "tainted' the results:

GOUVERNEUR, NY - The computerized voting machines used by many voters in the 23rd district had a computer virus - tainting the results, not just from those machines known to have been infected, but casting doubt on the accuracy of counts retrieved from any of the machines.
Conservative Doug Hoffman conceded to Democrat Bill Owens on election night when reported results had him trailing by about 5,000 votes (owens was then quickly sworn in as a member of the House of Representives). Recently, Hoffman "unconceded" when the gap narrowed, albeit not enough to put him ahead. As the remaining absentee ballots are counted, a real donneybrook could be developing over the virus "taint."

If nothing else, this serves as a warning to candidates everywhere not to concede in a fairly close race until all the votes have actually been counted! Beyond that, the idea that the computer might eat your vote is a little unsettling.

Any thoughts? Post a comment.

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