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Election Problem Log - 2004 to 2009
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VotersUnite! began this problem log with the November 2004 election. It continued its compilation of problems reported in the media by adding news stories about subsequent elections, through 2009. See also: Failures by vendor and Failures by state.
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Date Problem Type State
11/23/2006 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. "Accessible" features of the iVotronic voting machine failed to provide independent voting for a visually impaired woman who tried it. Story Archive
12/15/2006 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. About 9 percent of the printers attached to the county’s voting machines had a jam or other problem. In many cases, that problem made the paper record generated unusable for purposes of a state-mandated audit, according to county elections director George Gilbert. Story Archive
10/29/2007 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. ES&S iVotronic voting machines fail in early voting. Affected voters had to choose whether to come back later or vote provisionally. "George Gilbert, director of the Guilford County Board of Elections confirms that due to a computer glitch, all five of the machines at Bur-Mil would not display the correct information to allow citizens from Summerfield, Oak Ridge, Whitsett, Pleasant Garden and Sedalia to vote. Gilbert says citizens who attempted to vote were urged to come back later, and were given a provisional absentee ballot so they could vote manually if they were unable to do so." Story Archive
10/29/2007 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. iVotronics. "George Gilbert, director of the Guilford County Board of Elections confirms that due to a computer glitch, all five of the machines at Bur-Mil would not display the correct information to allow citizens from Summerfield, Oak Ridge, Whitsett, Pleasant Garden and Sedalia to vote." Story Archive
5/9/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Mecklenburg County. About 2,400 absentee ballots were counted twice by the ES&S Unity tabulation system. Correcting the inaccuracy didn't change any outcomes. Story Archive
5/9/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Wake County. About 37,000 optical scan ballots were counted twice by the ES&S Unity tabulation system. The early voting and absentee ballots were counted as part of the individual voters precincts and again as a whole. Correcting the inaccuracy didn't change any outcomes. Story Archive
5/14/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Onslow County. About 4,000 (Model 100) optical scan ballots from early voting -- apparently uploaded correctly -- weren't counted by the tabulation software. A state representative noticed the low number of votes from some one-stop voting sites and the county investigated. Rose Whitehurst, director of the Onslow County Board of Elections, said what happened was that when she uploaded the votes, she thought the votes were counted.

"When we started looking over the report, we found that the votes didn't all go into the software," she said. "We started doing an audit and ran through the information (and found that) both one-stops weren't counted." Story Archive

11/1/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machine. "three more voters told Guilford County GOP Chairman Bill Wright that machines switched presidential votes at Pleasant Garden Town Hall and Friendly Center in Greensboro. With help, voters corrected their ballots." Story Archive
11/5/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Rockingham County. The central tabulator failed to read the memory cards from the optical scanners at five of the six one-stop voting sites. The county uses M100 scanners. Story Archive
11/5/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Polk County. Results for the County Board of Elections flip flop twice as the county struggles with a malfunction in the computer reporting system. Rebooting seems to help, but then results flip again. Then winners are declared. County officials speculate that some of the precincts were counted twice by the software. Story Archive
11/5/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Craven County. Three technicians from Print Elect "jury-rigged an M-650 rapid counter with a paper clip to help speed up the absentee ballot counting process." Story Archive
11/6/2008 Machine malfunction NC Buncombe County. An unknown computer malfunction delayed the posting of election results on the State web site. “My understanding is that it was some sort of communication with the state board of elections,” said Jones Byrd, chairman of the Buncombe board of elections. Story Archive
11/8/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Forsyth County. An error occurred while uploading data from Precincts 601 and 604, causing incomplete vote data to be included in the initial results. The article describe the error: "[Rob Coffman, Forsyth County's director of elections,] said that the two precincts did correctly record the votes cast for each candidate, but when the results were fed into a computer that tallies all the returns, a mistake caused the software to omit results for the 74th N.C. House District in those two precincts. That, in turn, caused the vote totals in some other races to be incorrect. The corrected totals for the two precincts will result in slight changes in the totals of a number of other political contests." Story Archive
11/13/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Craven County. A memory card error caused only part of the main one-stop (early voting) ballots to be uploaded from one site. Revised numbers raise the turnout from 60% to 65% and may change the outcome of a State Representative race. An error in the reporting software also incorrectly categorized some ballots as absentee. The county uses iVotronic touch screen machines and M100 scanners. Story Archive One of the machines at the Cove City early voting site had a dead battery, which officials originally thought was the cause of the misreporting. Story2 Archive2

Update 11/14/08. Officials say that coding errors, made by ES&S and distributed by Print Elect, caused the software to read the data incorrectly. Four ballot styles reflecting the district in which voters of particular precinct could participate and the "Geo-codes" were not entered correctly and produced reporting problems. Story Archive

11/14/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Burke County. Paper jammed on the iVotronic touch screen machines. Story Archive
11/17/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Craven County. More problems emerge. The article says 342 ballots are missing from the No. 7 Township Fire and Rescue early voting site. A total of 7,575 authorizations to vote were identified but staff can find ballots, tapes, flash cards or personal electronic ballot records for only 7,233. Story Archive

Update 11/18/08. The missing ballots were found in a personal electronic ballot counter used to record first day of one-stop votes at No. & Township fire and Rescue in Grantham. The PEB was marked "spare" and overlooked originally. Story Archive

11/3/2009 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. Votes for Bill Knight for mayor were flipped to Yvonne Johnson on the iVotronic touch screen machine. Officials claimed it was a calibration problem. Story
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NC ESS Mount Airy (Surry County). Modems at two precincts failed and poll workers called in the results. Totals were transposed at the county office, causing the losing candidate to be announced initially as winner of the mayor's race. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Malfeasance NC Gaston County. A recount of curbside ballots found that the county had collected 803 such ballots. But Gaston reported only 708 votes in the presidential election, and Don Wright said it was unlikely that 95 voters had skipped that race. The executive director of the state board, Gary Bartlett, ordered Wright not to recount the ballots, which would establish whether some votes were missed. Bartlett said Gaston has already reported official results, and the number of votes was too small to change the result of any contest. Story Archive
11/18/2004 Malfeasance NC Cleveland County. State officials learned that precinct workers left 120 provisional ballots behind at a Cleveland County fire station on Election Day, and firefighters threw the ballots away the next day. Story1 Archive1

The ballots were trashed before a recount in which they would have been included. Story2 Archive2

11/18/2004 Malfeasance NC Guilford County. officials overlooked 93 provisional ballots in their secure storage area when they counted after the election. Those ballots were included in the recount. Story Archive
5/6/2008 Malfeasance NC Alamance County. A woman who was registered as unaffiliated was given an "independent" ballot. When she realized it was the wrong ballot, the poll worker said it was too late to change and refused to allow her to have a Democratic ballot. Story Archive
11/9/2004 Provisional ballots NC Wake County (Raleigh). Reviewing and counting 15,000 may cause the county to miss the deadline for reporting totals. 75,000 ballots were cast statewide. Story
11/9/2004 Provisional ballots NC Elections officials approved 1,790 of Durham's 2,820 provisional ballots cast, or 63 percent. More than 1,000 ballots were rejected mainly because there was no record that the people had registered to vote. Story Archive
5/6/2008 Registration errors NC Granville County. Stories from voters indicate there are severe errors in the voter registration database. Story
11/13/2008 Registration errors NC Pitt County. Among the provisional ballots, election staff found several people who registered through the Division of Motor Vehicles but their names were never sent to the local election office. Story Archive
10/27/2004 Voter challenges NC Both major parties in the Carolinas plan to have observers at polling places, making sure legal voters are not excluded and bogus voters don't sneak in. Some may challenge voters' eligibility, while others will be trying to block challenges. Story Archive
10/27/2004 Voter challenges NC In Alamance County, N.C., earlier this month, the sheriff submitted a list of registered voters with Spanish surnames to the U.S. Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement in an attempt to determine whether or not they are U.S. citizens. Story Archive
10/21/2004 Ballot printing ND Cass County. ES&S printed 120,000 ballots with incorrect text. Both "yes" and "no" would approve a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Bar codes used for alignment were printed incorrectly, too. ES&S is responsible and will pay for reprinting. Story Archive
10/30/2004 Ballot printing NE Cass County. About 925 absentee voters had received absentee ballots without the necessary officials signatures. They won't count. New ballots are being sent out to those voters. Story Archive
10/7/2008 E-pollbook NE ESS Nebraska's voter registration computer system Monday caused voting delays over the lunch hour at election offices across the state. Some voters waited for over an hour to vote. "After no one could figure out what the problem was, technicians rebooted the system at 12:15 p.m. That seemed to solve the problem after about half an hour." Story Archive
11/5/2004 Machine malfunction NE ESS Sarpy County. A computer problem doubled the votes in half the county's precincts, adding over 10,000 phantom votes to the totals. The county uses ES&S vote tallying software. As of 11/4, the cause had not been determined. The disc loaded correctly on one computer, but not on another. Story1 Story2 Archive1 Archive1
11/14/2004 Machine malfunction NE Lancaster County. While machines correctly fed themselves just one ballot at a time, their software at times incorrectly detected two ballots. The machines in all cases stopped short of actually counting two ballots, County Election Commissioner David Shively said, and instead responded by shutting down. Democratic party alleges there is no proof that the mechanical glitches that slowed counting Tuesday did not also skew the final figures. Story Archive
10/27/2004 Registration fraud NE Personal Report -- In Douglas County, Nebraska, polling places have been changed since the primary elections. I have a registration card (less than six months old) telling me where to vote. The online information from the Douglas County Election Commission gives a different address. I called the Election Commission and they verified the new address and gave no explanation for why we weren't notified of the change. This could cause a major problem in the election since Douglas County has a half million population. (VotersUnite! learned that some polling locations have recently been changed. Some have not.)
11/3/2004 Too few ballots NE Douglas County. Too few ballots were printed to fill demand in several west Omaha polling places. The county printed more, but some voters had to wait until nearly midnight -- 4 hours after polls closed -- to cast their votes. Story Archive
11/13/2004 Canvass anomalies NH Concord. A recount showed 234 fewer votes for a state Senate race than in the initial count. Ballots were later found in the bin of a scanning machine. Story Archive
11/20/2004 Canvass anomalies NH Concord. A recount of one state House race showed 36 fewer votes than the original count. Story Archive
1/9/2008 Canvass anomalies NH Two hand count towns reported "zero" votes for candidate Ron Paul to the media, even though they did have votes for him. The town of Sutton reported zero, but had 31 votes; the town of Greenville reported zero, but had 25 votes. The two towns had misreported results affecting exactly the same candidate in exactly the same way. ["Red Flags over New Hampshire," 1-12-08, Story
10/31/2004 Election law NH Citizens can register at the polls. Anyone who can't provide proof of residence can sign an affidavit promising that he or she lives here. Voters who sign the affidavit can vote, and their ballots are placed in the ballot box with all the others - so they can't be argued about later in the event of a recount. This leaves the door open for voters to vote in a nearby state and then go to NH and vote there, too. Story Archive
11/14/2004 Late counting NH Hollis town officials located the missing ballots that stalled a state Senate recount Friday night. 253 ballots cast on Nov. 2 were still inside an optical scanning machine at Town Hall. Story Archive
Records: 641-680 of 1280
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