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More DC Voting Problems   (DC)

Bruce Johnson     WUSA9    11 November 2008

WASHINGTON DC (WUSA) DC Councilmember Mary M. Cheh, Chairperson of the Council Board of Elections and Ethics Special Committee, after reviewing the November 4, 2008 general election results, has determined that there are irregularities that suggest systemic problems in the District's election software.

To address these issues, Cheh, with the pro bono assistance of Jenner & Block, is redoubling her efforts to force compliance with a subpoena previously issued to Sequoia Voting Systems, in which the Committee sought to obtain source code of the election software. The source code is believed to be necessary to identify the cause of election problems in the District's elections software.

The anomalies that Cheh recently discovered, though minor, may indicate larger problems in the District's election software. Among the discovered anomalies are:

   1. In Single-Member-District 6B11, which houses the District of Columbia Jail, the final unofficial election results showed no precinct reporting and 5 undervotes.
   2. In the Single-Member-District 5C09, which is located in precinct 74, there were 15 votes cast in a different precinct (73), where no voters were eligible to vote in that Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner race.
   3. According to registration statistics provided to the Council, 2 voters are registered to vote in SMD 6C09 in precinct 1. The election results show three votes for Single-Member-District 6C09 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner candidate, Charley Docter.

Questions about the reliability of the District's election software were raised after the September Primary Election, when over 1500 "phantom" votes, which were never cast, were counted in the initial election results.

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