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Thursday, October 14, 2004

Speaking of Predetermined Outcomes . . . . 

We thought we had run this story sixteen or seventeen times in the past, but no -- the dateline reads Oct. 13, 2004, not quite three weeks before the next presidential election:
A routine test of Palm Beach County's electronic voting machines was canceled Tuesday because the computer network at the elections office malfunctioned hours before the public exercise.

Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore said the "computer crash" won't affect the function of the electronic touch-screen voting machines during the upcoming Nov. 2 presidential election.

"It has nothing to do with the tabulation equipment," LePore said Tuesday.

The test requires feeding simulated voter data from a computer to the actual voting machine. The information is tabulated by a computer and checked to ensure it matches a predetermined outcome . . . .

Before an election, state law requires that a portion of the county's machines be tested publicly to ensure that the equipment will count the votes cast for all the offices and measures on the ballot.

In the county, 86 of the 4,720 touch-screen machines are tested publicly. The rest are tested behind closed doors.

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