Stolen Vote?

The day before California Secretary of State Debra Bowen decided to pull the plug on e-voting machines, across the country another electronic voting problem was causing fits. Seems that the US Congress electronic voting system went down during a extremely politically charged and extremely close vote dealing with agriculture and immigration. Republicans claimed they had won the vote 215 to 213, but Democrats claimed they won 216 to 212. Since they control the House, they indeed did win.

This has led to the creation of a special select committee that has subpoena powers to see if there was any "skulduggery" afoot. I doubt this action would have been taken if the vote was 400 to 28 for or against.

The lesson to be taken away: computer cock-ups only appear when consequences don't matter - it is always conspiracy when they do.


Risk Factor

IEEE Spectrum's risk analysis blog, featuring daily news, updates and analysis on computing and IT projects, software and systems failures, successes and innovations, security threats, and more.

Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City