When Northampton County voter registration employee Howie Erney demonstrated the WinVote system to our citizens' election panel on February 7, he smugly told them it's easier than those pesky levers, and is getting "better and better." But then Erney made a mistake. He was willing to answer questions, even from the people like me in the peanut gallery.
Unfortunately for Erney, I had spent that afternoon looking at documentation obtained from BlackBox Voting. I already knew the Pennsylvania Department of State had reluctantly certified WinVote Version 2.0.2 in February, 2006, noting twelve specific problems. But when Howie Erney confidently booted up his system, I was shocked to see that the system we had used was WinVote Version 2.0.3 instead of the certified version. When I started questioning this, the elections office suddenly didn't want any more questions. Fortunately, citizen panel co-chair Russ Shade had the same questions. And he wanted answers both from the state and vendor Advanced Voting Solutions. "They have this nasty habit of not returning phone calls."