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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
11/9/2006 Machine malfunction AK Diebold Anchorage. Diebold memory cards malfunctioned. Story Archive
11/14/2006 Machine malfunction AL ESS Baldwin County. Ballot programming error by ES&S. Republican County Commissioner Wayne Gruenloh, running unopposed, was identified as a Democrat on some electronic ballots, so he was awarded Democratic ticket votes, but not Republican ticket votes. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction AR ESS The Pope County clerk reported a problem with an ES&S central-count vote tabulator but said officials expected that it would be rectified Tuesday night. Story
11/10/2004 Machine malfunction AR ESS Carroll County. A ballot programming error by ES&S caused the ballots to be counted incorrectly. ES&S will supply a new chip for the Model 115 optical scanners and the county will rescan the ballots. Story Archive
11/10/2004 Machine malfunction AR ESS Carroll County. Skewed results in the JP District 2 race were found to have been cause by a misprogrammed optical scan chip supplied by ES&S. Story Archive
12/20/2004 Machine malfunction AR Pike County. Optical scanner failed to count nearly 700 votes. Story Archive
5/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Pulaski, Phillips, and Lonoke counties. ES&S misprogrammed the optical scanners, and they didn't count correctly. Election workers in 10 precincts manually counted the ballots. Story Archive
5/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Cleburne County. ES&S misprogrammed the iVotronic touch screens, and results were delayed. Story Archive
5/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Washington County. Election workers were unable to close the iVotronic touch screens. Story Archive
5/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Carroll County. ES&S provided incorrect ballot proofs. "All justice of the peace and constable races were lumped together and there was a disregard for ballot positions in other races." The county voted to have the ballots printed by a local printer.

Across the state, ES&S failed to provide ballots and programming on time. Many counties experienced programming problems and other problems with the optical scanners and iVotronic touch screens. Story Archive Story2 Archive2

5/23/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Phillips County. ES&S printed barcodes incorrectly on paper ballots. Choices for the county are to have ES&S reprogram the Personal Electronic Ballot (PEB cartridge) to read the existing bar codes, or have them reprint the ballots. ES&S did not send the chips that could have read the ballots. Story Archive
6/13/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Marion County. A Marion County Election commissioner said officials had a problem with some iVotronic electronic voting machines that did not recognize when 7:30 p.m., the time to close the polls, arrived. The machines had to be forced to shut down Story Archive
10/26/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Washington County. Ballot programming error. The voter-verifiable paper record printed the wrong district for the voter's choice. The candidate himself noticed that his paper record said he was in District 87, rather than the correct District 92. ES&S is reprogramming the ballots so the record will print the correct District. Election Coordinator Nancy Varvil said, "This never affected the tallying of the votes. The fix just puts the correct district on the audit trail.” Story Archive
10/31/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Garland County. Ballot programming error on the ES&S Personal Electronic Ballot (PEB) which brings up a voter's ballot on the iVotronic. "When we got to the point of trying to do our three amendments, everything just scrambled," said Garland County Election Commissioner Charles Tapp. A similar problem occurred in Sebastian County. Both these counties have chosen to do their own ballot programming. A similar problem also occurred in Benton County, which has ES&S do the ballot programming. Story Archive
11/1/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Pulaski County. Vote-switching from Republican to Democrat SoS candidate on ES&S iVotronic. “I had a voter from Jacksonville call me to say that he and his wife tried to vote for me (on different machines) four different times but each time they selected my name, my opponent’s name popped up on the touch screen,” says Jim Lagrone, Republican candidate for Arkansas Secretary of State. “On the fifth try, it finally worked for both of them." Story
11/2/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Washington County. ES&S iVotronic screen does not match paper printout. Clerk Karen Combs Pritchard said that, for the first two days of early voting in that county, the machines' paper printouts listed the wrong district number for a state representative candidate, although the number appeared correctly on the screen. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Garland County. Undefined problems with ES&S iVotronics and optical scanners. Charles Tapp, chairman of the Garland County Election Commission, said Tuesday that voting "is not going smoothly" and that three technicians and three commissioners are working to correct problems. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Benton County. Printers in the ES&S iVotronic jammed. Story
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Clark County. Unity software compiling results from the ES&S iVotronics added in the test ballots. Same thing happened in the primary. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Sharp County. Votes tabulated on the ES&S software showed up multiple times. Some iVotronics had paper jams, delaying voting. The program glitch was allowing votes from precincts which had been counted earlier to show up on the tally sheet multiple times, as the votes from each succeeding precinct were counted. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Benton County. Possible computer error with ES&S iVotronics. McCarthy said some indicators from the election results Tuesday led him to wonder whether the summary reports from voting machines reflected actual vote totals. He said he did not want to elaborate on what those indicators were. A recount could affect every race, he said. Story Archive

11/09/06 update -- The problem may be corrupted result data. Story Archive

11/10/06 update -- ES&S tabulation software subtracted votes as new totals were added. "Each time the election workers submit new precincts, votes already recorded were lost." The corrected totals show a change in the outcomes of 8 races. Story Archive

11/11/06 update -- Questions remain as some towns report more votes than the entire population of the town. Others report unusually low turnout. The countywide turnout is reported at 83%, which many agree is not believable. McCarthy is working with ES&S to determine what has happened. Story Archive Story2 Archive2

11/14/06 update. Third and final set of official totals are released. Story Archive

11/16/06 update. Two electronic files containing ballots [presumably memory cartridges] were found uncounted in a bag. Including them in the count changed the Lowell city clerk race into a tie. Story Archive

11/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Lawrence County. Undefined problems with the ES&S iVotronics forced some voters to use paper ballots. Story Archive
11/10/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Carroll County. Officials had trouble merging totals from early voting, absentee ballots, and election day. ES&S technician didn't know how to help them. Story Archive
11/11/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Poinsett County. Candidate for mayor of Waldenburg voted for himself on the iVotronic, but the tally shows he received no votes. Eight or nine other people said they also voted for him. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
11/13/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Crawford County. iVotronic votes from one precinct weren't included in the initial tally. Story Archive
11/27/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Cleburne County. Vote-switching. Voters' selections for Mayoral candidate Jackie McPherson were changed on the iVotronic screen to votes for incumbent Paul Muse. Testing confirmed the problem. Story Archive
2/6/2008 Machine malfunction AR ESS Benton County. iVotronic e-voting machines failed to start up at several polling places. Voters used paper ballots. Many were working by 2 pm. At one precinct, the screen was still black. Story Archive

The county also had problems closing the machines at the end of day to extract results. And "Poor-quality paper rolls and humidity caused machines to jam." Story Archive

2/6/2008 Machine malfunction AR ESS Faulkner County. iVotronic e-voting machine printer fails. Conway's Lisa Burks had just cast her vote using the touch-screen machine, but when she reviewed the printout she saw "a short horizontal line and long vertical line. The machine, Burks said, picked the wrong voter to mess with. As the founder and former national coordinator of the National Coalition for Verified Voting, Burks said, she lobbied against the state's adoption of electronic voting machines."

Other troubles include a machine that would not start up. Story Archive

2/10/2008 Machine malfunction AR ESS According the the Secretary of State's office, there were fewer problems than in previous elections. However, there were some printer malfunctions, some machines wouldn't start up, a power outage caused machines to shut down, one machine wasn't printing paper records properly. Story Archive
5/21/2008 Machine malfunction AR ESS White County. When early voting data was uploaded from the iVotronic touch screen to the Unity election management system, the system doubled them. The problem was detected when one candidate noticed that the totals in his race were nearly double the total votes in a comparable contest. The county did a "recount" and found that totals were different in every contest. The results of one contest was overturned by the recount. Story Archive

A programming error with time settings caused a domino effect of further complications, names were left off ballots, and the machine that tabulates the absentee ballots malfunctioned just as the polls closed at 7:30 p.m. “I don't exactly what that problem is,” said Thomas, one of the election commissioners. “There is some kind of printer head or something that would not allow the ballots to be read.” Story Archive

The vendor's defense: ES&S said the problems were not related to hardware malfunction but were related to programming. “Our agreement with White County is limited to hardware,” ES&S spokeswoman Amanda Brown said. “It does not include support services or programming.” Thorough explanation of the four problems Archive

5/24/2008 Machine malfunction AR ESS Faulkner County. Votes cast in the Constable contest were reported for candidates in the District 45 contest. The commission feels confident, by looking at the end-of-day paper record, that the votes have now been reassigned correctly. Correcting the count changed the outcome of the Constable contest. The county uses iVotronic e-voting machines and a central count scanner. Story Archive

Update 5/29/08. The "voter-verifiable paper trail" did NOT match the electronic count. The District 45 race (the first race on the paper ballot - pdf) was missing from the screen ballots on the East Cadron B voting precinct. Paper ballots were provided for that race in that precinct prior to the election. But the machines recorded Constable votes for the District 45.

"We assumed, erroneously, that it would not record that race since it was not on the ballot," [Faulkner County Election Commissioner Bruce Haggard ] said, adding that the votes for the constable race were later found to have recorded accurately on the voter-verifiable paper trail and therefore would not have appeared erroneous to voters either. Story Archive Story2

2/7/2008 Machine malfunction AZ ESS Cochise County. As the county accumulated totals from the precincts, a computer error on kept adding the results for five polling places every time new figures were added. The error got worse when the cumulative error went through five updates. County officials noticed the problem when they realized the total number of ballots cast was reported to be more than the people registered in the county. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction CA Hart InterCivic Orange County. Neal Kelley, chief deputy registrar said that during the first half of the day they had handled only sporadic glitches. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction CA Sacramento. Sacramento officials said they had sporadic trouble with the new scanning machines being used for the first time. By late Tuesday, nine of the 712 machines used countywide had to be replaced because they didn't work. One didn't have a power cord. Others had minor glitches. Story Archive
11/5/2004 Machine malfunction CA ESS San Francisco. Troubles began on Wednesday after the election when the ES&S software failed to accurately count votes in the city's new ranked-choice voting system, which eliminates the need for expensive runoff elections. the problem stemmed from a safeguard in the software that converts optical scans of ballot results into data that the computer system uses to calculate winners. The conversion software shutdown when the amount of data entering the system had reached a level set by the vendor. (This sounds similar to the Election Management Systems' 32,767 vote limit encountered in NC, and FL.) Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Riverside County. Voters said the machine would not allow them to vote for only one candidate. They tried on three machines and finally used paper ballots. One of the machines was taken out of service. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction CA Alameda County. Touch screen voting machines switched votes on statewide propositions. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction CA Contra Costa County. "A series of glitches in new voting machines and ballot-counting machines further postponed results from Contra Costa County, said county elections clerk Stephen Weir." Story
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction CA Monterey County. Ballot- counting machines "inexplicably overcounted the absentee ballots." Story
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction CA Hart InterCivic Orange County. eSlate voting machines in over 30 heavily Democratic precincts are not working and at most of these locations there are no paper ballots available as backups. Story
Records: 1-40 of 616
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