Drudge had the teaser up all night, but now we get the, ah, rest of the story:
Almost all the electronic records from the first widespread use of touch-screen voting in Miami-Dade County have been lost, stoking concerns that the machines are unreliable as the presidential election draws near.
The records disappeared after two computer system crashes last year, county elections officials said, leaving no audit trail for the 2002 gubernatorial primary. A citizens group uncovered the loss this month after requesting all audit data from that election.
Sounds like bad news, especially to electronic-voting enthusiasts like myself. But then the story also reports that a “county official said a new backup system would prevent electronic voting data from being lost in the future.”
So the problem wasn’t that the machines didn’t give proper election returns, the problem was that the data weren’t properly secured after the fact. All that says much more about the Miami-Dade Election Commission (as if more needed to be said) than it does about the machines themselves.
Furthermore, if we’re still questioning election returns two years after the fact, then we have a much more serious problem than bad data backup.
You hear me, Al Gore?