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Excruciating issues with voter list database

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THE TWO HALVES OF HAVA

The second half of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA, perhaps more accurately termed the "Help Yourself to America's Vote Act") is just now kicking into play nationwide.

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THE FIRST HALF OF HAVA strong-armed local elections jurisdictions into buying tamper-friendly voting machines.

THE SECOND HALF OF HAVA involves nationwide implementation of mandated, centralized tamper-friendly voter list databases at the state level.

WITH COMPUTERS, 'FIXES' CAN CAUSE NEW THINGS TO BREAK

The news coming out of Wisconsin provides a good illustration for how to break a system by fixing it.

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Wisconsin engaged the services of Accenture to develop its centralized statewide voter database. Records obtained by Black Box Voting in 2006 revealed significant problems with the database in the midst of the November general election. Just days before the election, emergency troubleshooting was being performed, and days after the election, the system was shut down for repairs:


Thumbnail: Statewide Voter Registration Problems - 3

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Thumbnail: Statewide Voter Registration Problems - 7

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Thumbnail: Statewide Voter Registration Problems - 9

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Now, you may think "That was in 2006, why worry in 2008?" Now look again at the dates. Major issues were being resolved Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, right before the election, and these records didn't come to light until AFTER the election. Wisconsin was using the system in 2006; many other states will use the statewide databases for the first time in 2008.
(Scroll to the end of this article for examples of 2006 Wisconsin voter list database problems).

AS OF JULY 2008

Problems with "SVRS" (Wisconsin's Statewide Voter Registration System) still had not been resolved:
http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/176/76544.html

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http://www.blackboxvoting.org
Bev Harris is executive director of Black Box Voting, Inc. an advocacy group committed to restoring citizen oversight to elections.

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