Electronic Voting in South Carolina and Elsewhere

Duncan A. Buell
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
University of South Carolina
Columbia, SC 29208
3A69 Swearingen
"buell" in any of several domains

South Carolina

I have been involved with the League of Women Voters of South Carolina for several years now in working on the subject of electronic voting machines. Following the highly anomalous result of the June 2010 Democratic primary for the United States Senate, we intensified our work and began to obtain data by FOIA for analysis. We have concentrated on the data from the November 2010 election in South Carolina. Our analysis has resulted recently in some disturbing conclusions, all of which are documented on the LWVSC website.

The most recent work is an interim report and county-by-county details as part of ongoing work of the League on auditing elections.

This past summer I delivered a paper on auditing the November 2010 election in South Carolina in the EVT/WOTE voting technology conference.

This paper relies heavily on specifics in Richland County on November 2, 2010, as documented by the LWVSC.

In addition to the information available at the LWVSC site, the data itself and extended comments can be found at a website we maintain, www.scvotinginfo.com.

The "we" includes myself as well as
  • Eleanor Hare, a retired computer science professor from Clemson University.
  • Frank Heindel, a commodities broker from Mt. Pleasant, SC.
  • Chip Moore, a computer scientist from Cambridge, MA, with South Carolina roots.
  • Barbara Zia, the President of the LWVSC.

The programs we have used to analyze the data have been written by Moore (using Perl) and by me (using Java). In addition, I assigned my second semester computer science class the same program that I used; it turns out that this is a really good example of the proper use of the Java Collections Framework classes and thus was both a good program for this class and a program that had social relevance. Both Moore and I have posted our code and made it available for use by others, although we both point out that this is code written by and used by computer scientists and isn't (yet) polished code suitable for general use. It could become that with a good front end and sufficient bulletproofing, but it isn't there now.

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