Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 12/13/04)

Broward County, Florida. November, 2004. ES&S.
Touch screens register votes incorrectly.

In addition to severe mix-ups in polling places (some of which were moved at the last minute) and disenfranchisement of voters who cast invalid provisional ballots because of the mix-ups, Broward County experienced many electronic voting machine malfunctions. Some broke down, others registered votes incorrectly.*

At least 21 voting machines in Broward County malfunctioned and were replaced Tuesday, and some votes on at least one of them might have been recorded inaccurately, election officials said.

An improperly calibrated machine at the polling place at 2501 Coral Springs Dr. in Coral Springs was used by an undetermined number of voters before it was replaced, said Carl Fowler, pubic information officer for Broward's Emergency Management Agency.

If voters on that machine had reviewed their ballots before hitting the red "Vote" button, they could be certain their votes were recorded accurately, Fowler said.

However, if they did not review their ballots, it is possible that some votes were recorded inaccurately. If a machine is not properly calibrated, a vote intended to be cast for one candidate can be recorded for a different candidate. "I think the chances that happened are slim, but it's a possibility," Fowler said.

The machines were taken to the Voting Equipment Center in Fort Lauderdale, where the votes cast on them were to be counted. County officials said they did not know how many votes had been recorded on any of the malfunctioning machines.

Many of the other 20 machines suffered problems with electrical power, said Gisela Salas, Broward's deputy supervisor of elections. Most of them had been used by some voters before being taken out of service.

* Few problems reported as Broward vote continues. Orlando Sentinel. November 2, 2004. By Mike Turnbell, Craig Lewis, Jean-Paul Renaud, Jeremy Milarsky. Ian Katz & Buddy Nevins: Staff Writers

See: ES&S 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 uninformed or deceptive.
~ Joseph Holder