Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 07/04/04)

Hinds County, Mississippi. November 4, 2003 AVS WINvote voting System (DRE).

Voting computers at some polling places failed to start up. Others overheated and broke down during the election, and not enough paper ballots were available to allow all voters to vote.*

When she [Elise Turner] arrived at her polling place at Belhaven College, the voting machines were down and there were no paper ballots.

"I was told I could leave and come back, but I waited for the ballots," Turner said. "Some people left."

When she got a ballot, Turner had to use a pen from a poll worker's purse and sit in a chair with people close enough to look at her votes on the ballot.

"This is just not acceptable," Turner said. "You would think they would know any electronic device can fail and would have had paper ballots and a box of No. 2 pencils from Office Depot."

The Mississippi Senate decided it was impossible to determine the will of the voters. So it declared the election invalid, and a new election was held on February 10, 2004.**

The discussion primarily focused on whether a revote should be held in the whole 22-precinct district or be limited to the one precinct where most of the problems occurred.

... It was not fair, however, for Democrats to push to throw out votes in one precinct when there were reports of irregularities at eight other precincts, she said.

* Long lines, machine malfunctions mark today's voting. Clarion Ledger. November 4, 2003. By Clay Harden.

** District vote set; contender may quit. Clarion Ledger. January 21, 2004. By Julie Goodman

See: WINvote in the News

... the system we have for testing and certifying
voting equipment in this country
is not only broken, but is virtually nonexistent.
~ Michael Shamos
to the U.S. House Science subcommittee
on June 24, 2004