The Problem

Our current voting system is inherently flawed.

Bucks County currently uses what is called a Direct Record Electronic (DRE) voting system.  This means it records votes by means of a ballot display that can be activated by the voter (with push buttons, like our Danaher Shouptronic 1242, or a touchscreen).  A computer program inside the machine allegedly accurately records voting data and ballot images.  After the election it produces a tabulation of the voting data stored in a removable memory component.

Keep in mind, however, that this is a computer. We have no verification when we hit our big green VOTE button that what we selected is what is being recorded inside. We are expected to trust our "black box" voting system.

Impossible to prove accurate or secure:

Any claims that election results are accurate or secure can’t be proven because there is no outside physical check against the computer-generated data. Electronic voting machines can malfunction, or their software mistakenly or intentionally can produce incorrect election results. Hackers can change votes, even if it is not connected to the internet. We've never claimed that our DRE voting machines have been hacked. We are saying it's impossible to tell whether they have or haven't.

No recounts or audits are possible:

These DREs have no hard copies of the voter’s choices to count. Simply regurgitating the computer totals, which were generated by the computer itself and no guarantee they are the voter’s choices, is not an audit and it’s impossible to have a recount because there is nothing available to count!

Sometimes, election officials contend it's up to us to prove the voting system is producing the wrong election results, for whatever reason. That's backward, and proving a negative isn't possible here. We say it's up to them to give us a system that can prove to us that the results are accurate.  It's a big problem when one can't conduct a real audit on a DRE system---that's the only way to determine that the winners of elections are the ones actually chosen by the voters.

There is no way to correct the faults with this voting system:

Besides being inherently non-verifiable and not provably secure or accurate, they are very old voting machines. They were built in 1986, and we purchased used and reconditioned machines that were discarded by other jurisdictions around the country in order to purchase voter-marked, paper-based optical scan systems for their citizens. Read about our solution here.

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Learn the history of how and why we got our current DRE voting system HERE. 

More details about how our DRE works, its history, and peering inside with a scientist HERE.

In-depth conclusions from experts about why it is so vulnerable can be found HERE .

"In science, computing, and engineering, a black box is a device,  system or object which can be viewed in terms of its inputs and outputs without any knowledge of its internal workings."

Wikipedia

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