Monday, February 14, 2005

Source of Gahanna Vote Tally Error Discovered

The source of the problem causing a Gahanna voting tabulation error has been found.
The maker of Franklin County's election machines has pinpointed the error that made a laptop computer give thousands of extra votes to President Bush on election night: Just like any overworked and distracted human, the machine was trying to do too much at once.

The mistake, caught days after the election, had Bush receiving 4,258 votes in a precinct in the Columbus suburb of Gahanna, where only 638 voters cast ballots. The corrected official count shows 365 votes for Bush.
The problem was a concurrency error that occurred when the computer was performing one task at the exact same time data was being downloaded from another machine.

Technicians concluded the laptop was completing another task just as numbers from that precinct were being fed into it.

"As a result, the laptop did not receive the data as fast as it was sent," said an elections board report. "Consequently, data was lost."

Danaher went further, identifying what computer bytes in the data disappeared. By feeding in data missing those bytes, technicians produced the same wrong vote total.

Another conspiracy goes down the drain.