Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 10/30/04)

Tarrant County, Texas. October, 2004. Hart Intercivic.
Electronic voting machines "assist" early voters to undervote.

The confusing sequence of screens caused some voters to accidentally miss voting on the stadium referendum.*

The biggest problem of the day was in Arlington, where poll workers fielded numerous complaints from voters who said that the new electronic voting machines were confusing, and that they had mistakenly cast their ballot without voting on the stadium referendum.

Parten said Arlington voters who cast straight-party ballots must press the "NEXT" button on the voting machine to get to the stadium question.

Voters can also vote on the proposal once they reach the summary page of the electronic ballot, he said.

"If you're not paying close attention, you're going to miss your chance to vote on the stadium," said north Arlington resident Tom Been, who chose a straight-party ballot, but didn't go to the last virtual page on the computer screen.

He had hoped to vote against it.

"It's very annoying, the way they set it up," he said.

* Early voters set county record. Star-Telegram. October 19, 2004. By Gordon Dickson and Jack Douglas Jr., Star-Telegram Staff Writers.

See: Hart Intercivic in the News

No one votes unassisted on a computer;
everyone is "assisted" by anonymous programmers.
~ Mark Ortiz
former candidate for U.S. Representative
North Carolina, 8th District