Ohio Adds Software 'Fix' to Voting Machines

Journo files lawsuit to stop move in key swing state

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 5, 2012 3:35 PM CST

(Newser) – Ohio is adding a last-minute, "experimental" software patch to its electronic voting machines—and one official explanation seems to contradict the very contract signed for the job, Salon reports. A representative for Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted told theGrio that the change added software—not a patch—that simplifies data entry for precinct workers and helps them output data onto a thumb drive. But the contract itself calls for a "Results Export Program" to be "modified"—apparently to change the format of voting results before they are sent to the secretary of state.

A journalist who broke the story at FreePress.org has filed an injunction to stop Husted and the e-voting manufacturer, ES&S, from adding the patch. But Husted defended the move on CNN this weekend, saying Ohio's counting and reporting systems "are not connected in any actual way. ... So we have a very transparent system." Libertarian election expert Jim March, however, said he's worried about Husted's eleventh-hour fix in a key swing state: "A case of accidental damage to the 'crown jewels' of the election data is possible," he said in an affidavit. "A case of deliberate tampering of that data using uncertified, untested software would be child’s play."

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted   (AP/Jay Laprete)
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