Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Se cayó el sistema in Ecuador

Fortunately, that's not in the Mexican sense, but it looks as if there has been a problem with electronic voting in the Ecuadorian election:

A day after the elections, the Ecuadorians did not know the conformation of the Congress and the definitive result of the presidential ones, due to the collapse of the system of count of a Brazilian company/signature, accused previously of anomalies that fed denunciations on fraud.

(Shitty translation by Google)

Ecuador's election tribunal has terminated the company's contract after the count stalled at 70%, apparently due to overloaded servers. And while the results so far seem to be roughly in line with exit polls, in a charged political atmosphere, the problem is already leading to allegations of fraud:

Jimmy Jairala, spokesman for the center-rightwing PRE -- Roldosist Party, affirmed that "hackers" entered the country and carried out a digital fraud, including scanning so votes were not secret.

Its not clear how long it will take them to get a real result, but its a stark warning of the problems of electronic voting, and of the necessity for a backup paper trail both to prevent fraud and ensure the reliability of the result.


Ha. Imagine if the Electoral Commission had terminated the contract with Datamail a few days into the mess over the last local body elections...

Posted by Anonymous : 10/17/2006 02:03:00 PM

Better translations from that page (and some of the articles):
"La votación en Ecuador ... del país."
The voting in Ecuador occurred without indicators of fraud, according to the government and the observational mission of the OEA, however some hitches appeared in the different provinces of the country.

"Después de ese corte ... del desprestigio al proceso."
After this cut, at 20:30 the service was suspended and no more data was given, causing a credibility problem en the Ecuadorean elections, since various questioners, before the same elections, doubted the capacity of the E-Vote company to deliver the data, that which finally happened, in the middle of the loss of prestige of the process. (Yes, it really is that abysmally written in the original).

"Varias irregularidades ... por las autoridades pertinentes."
Various irregularities presented themselves in the elections of Sucumbíos Province. In Nueva Loja, 210 ballots marked on tables 60 and 41 of the (voting place) were detected. These ballots were eliminated by the relevant authorities.

The more interesting articles seem to have been pulled, or at least are currently blank for me. I'll see what comes up later on.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/17/2006 05:40:00 PM

I found out part of what was going on there - if you follow the link, you get redirected to their main page. You have to copy-and-paste the URL.

Here's the translation of the linked article:
One day after the elections, the Ecuadorians don't know the structure of the Congress and the final result of the Presidentials, owing to the collapse of the counting system from a Brazilian firm, accused earlier of anomalies that feed reports of fraud.

"They have given us 70% of the data for the President when they were meant to have done it already for this office and the deputies", said Patricio Torres, spokesman of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, the organisation that contracted E-Vote for 5.2 million dollars (including the 26 November ballot), to the AFP on Monday.

He added tat this Brazilian consortium promised the TSE that it would issue the total of the result of the Presidential Elections at 8PM Saturday local time (1AM Monday GMT), three hours after the close of voting.

"For deputies it had to be by midnight (5AM GMT) and it hasn't even begun," Torres continued.

E-Vote, which recieved an advance of 50% of the 5.2 million dollars, issued in the early morning the results of 70.6% of the 36,613 polling places, which gave 26.7% of the valid votes to the banana magnate Alvaro Noboa and 22.5% to the leftist Rafael Correa, as well as 29.4% absenteeism.

Since then, the release of the results remains suspended by a collapse of the system.
According to several exit polls, Noboa totalled more votes and passed the total of Correa, who insisted on Monday that the faults in the computer system echoed his denunciation of fraud.

"We noticed it, we are basing this on the information from E-Vote, whose system nobody knows," said Correa, a friend of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.

Here is the report of the (observational mission of the) OEA that said that the system failed and that at the time of the testing it was not using the current versions, that is to say that it could easily be a program that for every three votes for Correa, it gives one to him and the rest to another candidate."

Meanwhile, Torres said that the TSE will evaluate the work of E-Vote. "We have a contract signed with this company and one must see that it failed. I am seeking a report from the administrator of the contract and the TSE will adopt appropriate measures," he indicated.

He added that "if it is necessary, we will declare the unilateral end of the contract, which includes economic penalties for breaches."

During this, the president of the TSE, Xavier Cazar, announced that the organisation will meet the same Monday and analyse the termination of the agreement with E-Vote, contracted after other bids from Spanish and Colombian enterprises.

In reference to the fraud referred to by Correa involving E-Vote, the spokesman sid that "there have been no precise reports so far" to analyse.

"All the electoral observation organisations have signalled that there is normality in the process", noted the authority and added that the TSE has this week for the scrutiny before beginning preparation for the ballot of November 1.

Around 9.2 million Ecuadorian were spent by the TSE to elect in the prescribed manner the President and Vice-President for the period 2007-2011 (from the fifteenth of January).

The Ecuadorians also elected on Saturday 100 deputies for the unicameral Congress, 67 provincial governors, and 674 municipal councils.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/17/2006 08:00:00 PM