Changes Found in Alabama Recount

The statewide recount on a measure to remove segregation-era language from Alabama’s constitution is turning up variations from the official canvass, with changes exceeding 100 votes in at least three counties.

These three counites (HaleMacon and Madison) all use the same type of voting technology – ES&S’s Optech-III Eagle optical scan machine. (Note that 75% of all of Alabama counties use the same technology… 95% of counties use optical scan (different models)).

Not surprisingly, the totals in the counties that used DRE equipment didn’t change. That’s not the kind of thing that inspires much confidence in our crowd. If they had recounted a slew of voter-verified audit trail documents and compared to a retally of electronic ballots, that would be begin to be a proper audit… as Doug Jones, pointed out in his October 2004 CACM piece, “Auditing Elections”,

One important aspect to examine is the chain of custody for each piece of evidence pertaining to the election. What machinery produced this data, who collected it from the machine, and how was it preserved? What we need is analogous to the documentation for the chain of custody required to bring evidence to court in a criminal case.