Voting Machine Mess-up

Kershaw County, South Carolina. April, 2005. ES&S.
Initial totals show more than four (4!) times as many votes as voters.

Initial results for the County Council seat showed 2440 phantom votes -- 3208 votes, 768 voters. The corrected results overturned the Democratic primary.*

Unofficial vote totals that night showed 3,208 of District 2’s 5,128 registered voters had cast ballots in the Republican and Democratic primaries. A manual recount Thursday proved only 768 votes were cast.

Garry Baum, public information director for the State Election Commission, blamed a "human accounting error."

A new electronic voting system being used in 15 counties in South Carolina calls for a cartridge from each precinct to be plugged into a computer to count the votes.

“When the cartridges were being read they were mistakenly read ... again,” Baum said. “And so you had what looked like additional numbers.”

Tuesday night, a commission employee did not check a box on the computer screen that would have prevented multiple readings, Baum said.

VotersUnite.Org wonders how many times the cartridges were read to obtain an initial total more than four times the number of ballots case. We also wonder why a system would be designed to allow result cartridges to be read multiple times.

* Counting error overstates votes. The State. April 29, 2005. By Kristy Eppley Rupon.

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