Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 10/09/04)

Snohomish County, Washington. October, 2004. Sequoia.
20 paperless machines malfunctioned. Cause unknown.

County officials admit that 20 machines broke down during the primary. The machines have malfunctioned before, and they have no idea what the cause of the problem was ... but no votes were lost.*

Twenty touch-screen voting machines broke down on Sept. 14 in Snohomish County, but officials said Tuesday that no votes were lost and no voter was prevented from casting a ballot.

County elections manager Carolyn Diepenbrock said mechanical failures rendered the machines inoperable for the primary election. Some simply froze, while the viewing screens on others went blank.

"We're still trying to figure out what triggered the mechanical failures," she said. "We don't have that answer yet."

... On the day of the primary, 20 of the 886 machines deployed in polling places had to be shut down after activation cards got stuck. While the problem has occurred in previous elections, it has never occurred on that many machines, Diepenbrock said.

Sequoia technicians spent last week in Everett testing the machines that broke down, as well as and the ones that did not. They did not uncover the cause of the problem.

* 20 voting machines broke down. Everett Herald. October 6, 2004. By Jerry Cornfield, Herald Writer.

See: Sequoia in the News

News stories make it rapidly apparent that
electronic voting is not reliable, accurate, or secure.
Any one who claims otherwise is either ignorant or deceptive.
~ Joseph Holder