Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 10/24/04)

Palm Beach County, Florida. October, 2004. Sequoia.
User-unfriendly design of e-voting machines caused poll workers to err.

The first day of early voting, poll workers in one location closed the election on early voting touch-screen machines, rather than just shutting down for the night. Now, the machines can't be used again in the election.*

Voting scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the county library branch west of Boca Raton didn't begin until about noon.

Describing the poll workers as embarrassed by the mistake, LePore said they were so frazzled by the onslaught of voters and criticism on Monday that that they made a mistake.

For regular elections, workers turn two knobs, one to turn off the power and the other to close the polls. For early voting, they're only supposed to turn off the power. They did both Monday night, which meant the machines couldn't be activated Tuesday.

So all the machines at that location had to be taken back to the elections office to be counted on elections night, then replacements sent to be started for Tuesday's voting.

* Early balloting continues in Palm Beach County, and so do voters' gripes. South Florida Sun-Sentinel. October 20, 2004. By Anthony Man.

See: Sequoia in the News

DRE machines need to be designed in such a way
that the target group
won't have a lot of problems using it.
~ Bev Harris