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10/27/2008
04:47 PM
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E-Voting Complaints Heat Up With Early Voting

Some people also have complained that the touch screens are overly sensitive and do not separate the choices enough for voters to be sure they're activating the right selection.

With just over a week to go before Election Day, voters have reported problems with electronic voting machines in several states.

Early voters have complained of problems across the nation, including machines' inability to properly record votes.

Voters in West Virginia have reported that the electronic voting machines have switched their choices from Democrats to Republicans. Voters in Tennessee have complained that their Republican choices switched to slates of Democrats, while others in that state have complained that Democratic votes switched the selections to Green Party votes. At least one voter in Texas said her selection of a straight Democratic ticket led to a screen asking for confirmation of a straight Republican ticket. Some people have also complained that the touch screens are overly sensitive and do not separate the choices enough for voters to be sure they are activating the right selection.

Princeton University researchers have warned that voting machines in Pennsylvania and New Jersey have research flaws. Groups in Pennsylvania have filed a federal lawsuit seeking emergency paper ballots.

The reports of problems span all major electronic voting machine vendors.

Several groups, including Election Protection, have set up hot lines to help voters. Election Protection is a nonpartisan coalition led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is hosting a site, OurVoteLive.org, which collects and organizes reports by complaint type and location. The site, backed by more than 100 Election Protection partners, also features blogs and maps. Its workers expect to receive more than 200,000 reports, via phone and the Web site, through Election Day.

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The cybersecurity profession struggles to retain women (figures range from 10 to 20 percent). It's particularly worrisome for an industry with a rapidly growing number of vacant positions.

So why does the shortage of women continue to be worse in security than in other IT sectors? How can men in infosec be better allies for women; and how can women be better allies for one another? What is the industry doing to fix the problem -- what's working, and what isn't?

Is this really a problem at all? Are the low numbers simply an indication that women do not want to be in cybersecurity, and is it possible that more women will never want to be in cybersecurity? How many women would we need to see in the industry to declare success?

Join Dark Reading senior editor Sara Peters and guests Angela Knox of Cloudmark, Barrett Sellers of Arbor Networks, Regina Wallace-Jones of Facebook, Steve Christey Coley of MITRE, and Chris Roosenraad of M3AAWG on Wednesday, July 13 at 1 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss all this and more.