Site Map
Voting News
Contact Us
About Us

is NOT!
associated with

Austin voter casts ballot twice because of 'glitch' in system  (TX)
Chelsea Hover     News 8 Austin    27 February 2008

A Travis County woman claims she voted twice.

Jan Dawes' vote only counted once, but her experience adds to some critics' doubts about electronic voting.

"I made my ions, hit the cast ballot button, saw the little waving flag that indicates you're done," Dawes said. "Then I noticed at the top of the screen it said, 'Reconnect to system to record vote.'"

A computer issue raises concerns that some people’s votes might not have actually counted. 
Dawes summoned help from election workers at the Highland mall polling area, and they determined her computer wasn't connected properly.

They would have to reboot all 11 computers to fix the problem.

"One of the workers said, 'I'm glad you noticed that problem sometimes people make their ions and forget to push the cast ballot button and they leave, and unless we can track them down, we have to invalidate their vote,'" Dawes said.

That raised concern for Dawes that some people's votes might not have actually counted.

Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said the system worked just like it was supposed to.

"I am not concerned about it," DeBeauvoir said. "We do audits every single day of early voting so we make sure we match the number of signatures with the number of ballots in the ballot box."

An audit from that day at that early voting place shows those numbers matched up right after the reboot.

But DeBeauvoir does admit that quite frequently, voters fail to finish casting their ballots.

"But we can tell that right away, and we have to wave at them and say, 'Hi excuse me, you gotta remember to push the red button,'" she said.

The election workers have a panel of lights that indicate to them where each voter is in the process. She said a red light pops up if a voter's ballot isn't done being cast.

But Dawes said that's not what she was told.

"I called the county clerk's office and asked if they found that someone's vote had not been counted, if they try to track them down, and they said, 'No,'" Dawes said.

Texas Civil Rights Project Director Jim Harrington said he's sure there have been similar cases.

"Who knows how many and how much malfunction has been in these elections," Harrington said.

That possibility has lead Harrington to file a lawsuit to try to change the county's voting system to include a paper trail.

"That is the heart and core of a democracy, to be able to have a good election," Harrington said.

Dawes agreed that voting is both a privilege and a responsibility, one that she takes seriously.

"Democracy is not static, it takes all of us working together to maintain it, so I just wanted people to be aware," Dawes said.

Regardless of the system the county uses, it's up to the voters to make sure their vote goes through.

The county clerk added that each vote is stored independently at the voting booth.

So even in a case like this, when the computer was not connected properly, the county clerk said the voter's original ballot was never in danger of being lost.

Previous Page

Election Problem Log image
2004 to 2009


Accessibility Issues
Accessibility Issues

Cost Comparisons
Cost Comparisons

Flyers & Handouts

VotersUnite News Exclusives

Search by

Copyright © 2004-2010 VotersUnite!