Voting Machine Malfunction

Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. November 2005, ES&S.
Flawed ballot programming gives race to losing candidate.

Flawed ballot programming of straight-ticket votes hands the race to the wrong candidate for magisterial district judge. Straight-ticket Democrat votes were given to the Republican candidate. Straight-ticket Republican votes were not counted at all.*

A 9.5-hour hand recount produced a new winner Thursday in the election for magisterial district judge for the Carlisle area.

...Democrat Jessica Rhoades came out on top by a slim two-vote margin — 1,703-1,701 — over Republican Kathy Keating in the recount.

Initial vote totals recorded Tuesday night showed Keating won by a 1,650-1,468 margin.

However, a programming error by the county’s ES&S voting machines awarded all votes by Democrats casting a straight-ticket ballot to Keating. The problem involved a software coding error in which Keating’s political affiliation was mislabeled as Democrat.

Straight-ticket Republican votes were not awarded to either candidate. So the hand recount subtracted straight-ticket Democrat votes from Keating’s total and added straight-ticket Republican votes. Meanwhile, Rhoades gained straight-ticket Democrat votes.

* DJ race still up in the air. Sentinel, November 11, 2005. By John Hilton. Archive

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