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Election Problem Log - 2004 to 2009
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VotersUnite! began this problem log with the November 2004 election. It continued its compilation of problems reported in the media by adding news stories about subsequent elections, through 2009. See also: Failures by vendor and Failures by state.
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Date Problem Type State
12/21/2009 Fraud MI ESS Detroit. Allegations of fraud by mayoral candidate Tom Barrow are based on:
- Empty ballot boxes, two of which election officials certified as containing ballots.
- Security seals breached on boxes containing at least 40,000 absentee ballots
- Election summary totals that were run hours before the closing of the polls.
- Thousands of unused absentee ballots missing.
- Nearly a hundred other "questionable issues". Story Archive
12/3/2009 Fraud OH Franklin County. Two Franklin County residents were convicted and fined Tuesday in separate voter-fraud cases from the 2008 election. Belli voted in both Fairfield and Franklin counties. Finney voted and also signed her son's absentee ballot, according to Schneider. Story Archive
12/1/2009 E-pollbook GA Muscogee County. Computers used to look up voters were operating slowly, taking minutes to complete what should have taken seconds. Delays forced some voters to use provisional ballots. Story Archive
12/1/2009 Fraud NJ Essex County. Five people, including Essex County Freeholder Samuel Gonzalez, the husband of state Sen. Teresa Ruiz (D-Essex), were indicted Tuesday for election fraud in connection with absentee ballots they collected and submitted as workers for Ruiz's 2007 Senate campaign. Story Archive
11/27/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia St Lawrence County. ImageCast ballot scanners broke down in eight election districts. A comparison of details from the election suggests that the machines miscounted votes in others -- adding votes in some, missing votes in others. Story Archive
11/25/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia St. Lawrence County. Phantom votes (more votes than voters) reported in six election districts in the NY-23 congressional contest. Story Archive
11/25/2009 Poor design NY Sequoia ImageCast ballot scanners don't count undervotes. They calculate them based on the number of votes for candidates -- eliminating an important double-check on the vote count. Story Archive
11/13/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Lewis, Seneca and Schuyler Counties. The ImageCast ballot scanners failed. According to Anna E. Svizzero, state elections operation director, the primary cause of voting machine failure was a memory issue related to the way ballots were programmed to record multiple votes for one office. Story Archive

Update Nov. 20, 2009. "The issue was a bug in the Dominion source code that caused the machine to hang while creating ballot images for certain vote combinations in multiple candidate elections." The bug was discovered during pre-election testing, and ballot configuration files were modified in some machines, freeing up enough memory to prevent the hang. But not all machines with the problem were identified, so the malfunction occurred on election day in those machines. Story

11/13/2009 Machine malfunction VA Diebold Lancaster County. Multiple AccuVote ballot scanners malfunctioned. They didn't process the votes, nor would they print poll tapes. Story Archive
11/12/2009 Machine malfunction CT Diebold Middlebury. One of the AccuVote ballot scanners broke down, forcing poll workers to switch to a replacement machine to continue counting ballots. Story Archive
11/12/2009 Machine malfunction NY ESS Erie County. A ballot programming error on the ballot scanner caused votes to be counted incorrectly. Story Transcript, see page 14.
11/10/2009 Machine malfunction MA Diebold Essex County. Methuen. AccuVote ballot scanner failed to read six ballots. This adds a new twist to the School Committee election saga, where incumbent Kenneth Henrick placed just five votes ahead of his friend and fellow incumbent George Kazanjian. The city clerk says that the machines regularly jam, resulting in a few ballots that go uncounted, but rarely as many as six. Story Archive
11/10/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Broome County. Hand counts revealed the ImageCast ballot scanners in five voting districts had miscounted votes. In some cases, the machines had rejected valid ballots. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
11/9/2009 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Miami County. A memory card failed, causing a two-hour delay in retrieving vote totals. Story Archive
11/6/2009 Machine malfunction PA ESS Lackawanna County. Flawed ballot programming on the M100 ballot scanners resulted in a failure to count up to 2,452 straight-party votes for two city candidates. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
11/5/2009 Vote suppression FL Diebold Sarasota County. Kathy Dent, supervisor of elections, discovered in pre-election testing that the Diebold scanners did not scan properly when the ovals were filled in with blue ink. Nevertheless, the instructions for filling out the ballot recommended that voters use "a blue or black pen." Story
11/5/2009 Wrong ballot OH Diebold Stark County. Poll workers mistakenly loaded the wrong electronic ballot into the voting machines, and the incumbent mayoral candidate's name wasn't on the ballot. She received no votes, but will retain the office until 2011 because she was unopposed. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction CA ESS Merced County. Four "election computers" were not working properly early in the day and were repaired. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Registration errors CA Merced County. Errors in the voting rosters caused some voters to be disenfranchised. The school board election may have to be reheld. One precinct was missing two pages of its roster of eligible voters. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Late counting GA Diebold Fulton County (Atlanta). Memory cards from seven e-voting machines were left in the machines overnight. The roughly 200 votes were counted Wednesday afternoon and did not affect the outcome of any races. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Vote suppression IN St. Joseph County. County maps of polling places were confusing and incorrect, sending voters to the wrong place. Some voters were redirected enough times, they didn't get the correct polling place in time to vote. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction MA ESS Quincy in Norfolk County. A power surge caused a 3P-Eagle optical scanner to break down. The machine was replaced. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction MI ESS Genesee County (Flint). Votes from the M100 optical scanner memory cards in Precinct 1 in Flushing Township could not be uploaded to the election management system database. Election workers entered the votes into database by hand, from the printed poll tapes. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction MI Diebold Washtenaw County (Ann Arbor). Some ballots didn't feed into the M100 scanners property, or weren't being read. In Ann Arbor, for example, in several precincts there was a one-ballot discrepancy between the machine count and the actual number of ballots. Some memory cards appeared to be "wiped clean" and wouldn't upload into the GEMS election management system. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction MS Diebold Adams County (Natchez). Printers on the TSx e-voting machines stalled and ran out of paper. Memory cards got stuck in the machines. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NC ESS Mount Airy (Surry County). Modems at two precincts failed and poll workers called in the results. Totals were transposed at the county office, causing the losing candidate to be announced initially as winner of the mayor's race. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Mercer County (Trenton). Memory cartridges from Advantage e-voting machines reported zero totals in 10 municipalities, even though there were votes on the machines. Vote totals were available on paper tapes printed at the machines. Story Archive

Update 11/6/09. Sequoia explained that there was an "as yet unknown problem in the connection to the county server", and when the transmission didn't go through clearly, the cartridges went into "review" mode. Story Archive

11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Cayuga County. ImageCast ballot scanners crashed. Some rejected valid ballots that other machines accepted. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Fulton County. ImageCast ballot scanners were impounded after it was found they were not working properly. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Lewis County. ImageCast ballot scanners malfunctioned at two polling stations. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Steuben County. The ImageCast ballot scanner in the first ward malfunctioned. Totals may not be known for weeks. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Registration errors OH Lorain County. Seven misprinted signature books contained information from the 2008 election. Some had only a few outdated pages. In other cases, the entire book was outdated. Problems with the books forced some voters to cast provisional ballots. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Too few machines OH Diebold Lorain County. Board of Elections Director Jose Candelario underestimated the turnout and seven polling places had too few e-voting machines. 18 additional machines were delivered during the day to reduce the long lines. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Canvass anomalies PA ESS Erie County. Votes from seven iVotronic e-voting machines were not counted. The machines will be taken to the courthouse to tabulate the votes. [The article gave no indication of why they weren't counted.] Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction PA ESS Indiana County. M100 optical scanners counted the number of ballots wrong. The number of ballots was an even number in 61 of 69 precincts, suggesting that the scanners counted each sheet of the 2-sheet ballot as a separate ballot. But that explanation doesn't account for a report of 642 ballots cast by 237 registered voters at Cherryhill 1. Even full turnout would have been just 474 pieces of paper. Election workers are still trying to find out what happened. Story Archive
11/4/2009 E-pollbook TX The statewide voter registration database crashed when the polls opened. Story Archive. Related Story and Archive
11/4/2009 E-pollbook TX Galveston County. Internet firewalls blocked computer access to the county’s central voting system. While the county conducted connectivity tests at each of the polling places before the election, the testing was done one place at a time. When all of the polling places signed on at about the same time, the problems showed up. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction TX Hart Intercivic Galveston County. The election management system reported that all votes had been counted, when less than half had been counted. Officials thought this was because the system was based on 121 precincts, rather than the 40 super-precincts (voting centers) used in the election. Story Archive.
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction UT Diebold Weber County (Ogden). Automatic ballot feeders in the optical scanners jammed. That malfunction and a software problem that didn't allow both scanners to run at the same time delayed the counting of ballots, taking over 6 hours to count 6,232 ballots. Election workers had to feed the ballots through the machine one at a time. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
11/3/2009 Vote suppression CA Los Angeles County. Moses Awaad, owner of Finance Auto Sales, registered to serve as a polling place in July. But on election day, he refused to allow poll workers or voters into the building. Story Archive
Records: 1-40 of 1280
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