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Hardware fails, restricting voter database access

By   /   November 5, 2010  /   4 Comments

A piece of computer hardware failed on Election Day, preventing poll workers across Missouri from being able to access the central electronic database designed to verify voter registration information for part of the day.

One of the load balancers — a piece of computer hardware that manages Internet traffic by determining how requests are sent to servers —  is to blame for the problems with the system, said Laura Egerdal, spokesperson for the Missouri Secretary of State.

“We expect and prepare for a very high load of Internet traffic on Election Day,” Egerdal told Missouri Watchdog. “However, one of our load balancers failed,” she said, adding that after the problem was identified, traffic was rerouted and everything worked again.

Poll workers across the state were able to use computers again to verify voter registration information online by early afternoon.

The secretary of state’s office has spoken with nearly all of the local election authorities and there have been no reports of voters being kept from casting a ballot, Egerdal said, adding that there were other methods for poll workers to look up voters who did not appear in poll books. On Election Day, as Missouri Watchdog reported, Egerdal also stressed that there were no problems with the voter registration database itself, saying it was “accurate and secure.”

By Brian R. Hookbrhook@missouriwatchdog.org, (314) 482-7944

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  • http://html Frieda

    Here is my experience from Election Day. as a Roving Deputy monitoring 20 Polling Places in the South County Region:

    Supervisors at each Polling location told me that their Palm Pilots had

    incorrect information that was utterly incoherent and in many cases did not

    match their printed voter records. In each case they issued “provisional

    ballots”. Without a doubt, the polling places were overflowing all day long. I

    thought it was because of heavy turnout – true to some degree – but it was

    really because lines were backing up because of the inability to verify

    legitimate/registered voters. In some cases people left. To make matters worse,

    it was impossible to call the Board of Elections, either the “circuits are

    busy”, their phones rang forever, they did not have enough manpower or whatever. I was supposed to call the Board of Elections every hour to report any problems. I could never get trough and gave up after 3 hours. As we were collecting voter results after 7pm I asked the Supervisors how they felt about the day. Without exception all of them said it was the most hectic/busy election they ever experienced and when I asked if it was because of voter turnout they replied that it was because the Board of Election was unresponsive or they could not reach them.

    In my opinion this points to sheer incompetence, the most benign excuse, voter supression and/or voter fraud. I suspect there are many votes that were cast without proper verification and there are numerous “provisional votes” that will delay certification. During the day I did not think much about this. I thought this is just what happens. I guess I should/could have been more vigilant. In hindsight I say that I am too gullible and trusting. Big mistake. This kind of stuff should not be allowed/tolerated. And where was our Secretary of State who is supposed to make sure this kind of stuff does not happen?

    We need to add voter fraud/replacing the Secretary of State to our list of

    things to do – Frieda

  • Pingback: Lawsuit a possible option for Mo. GOP congressional challenger  | Statehousenewsonline.com

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