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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
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Stark County. Diebold touch screens weren't working, and voters were told they would have to vote provisional ballots, which aren't counted until 10 days after the election. In some polling locations, voters had to touch the screen as many as 15 times to get it to register a vote. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Provisional ballots OH Diebold Cuyahoga County. Candice Hoke, director of Cleveland State’s Center for Election Integrity, said some of her public monitors reported that poll workers were incorrectly requiring some voters who used paper ballots to fill out a provisional voter form. Voting results for any of those forms won’t be counted until the official count begins 11 days after the election. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction UT Diebold Utah and Salt Lake Counties. Diebold touch screen machines weren't operating when the polls opened at several polling places in these counties and other areas. In some locations, all the machines were down. Voters waited up to 1-1/2 hours. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction UT Diebold Utah and Salt Lake Counties. Voter access card encoders for the Diebold touch screens weren't working in at least 32 of 118 polling locations, causing long lines, waits up to two hours, and voters turned away. Story Archive Story2 Archive2 Story3 Archive3
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction UT Diebold Salt Lake. Part of the text of Proposition 2 didn't show up on the Diebold touch screen. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction UT Diebold Utah County. Machines used to program Diebold voter access cards malfunctioned. After consulting with the maker of the touch-screen machines, Utah County has begun using one electronic machine at each polling location to program the voter access cards. That means every location will be short one machine - on a day when long lines are already expected. Story
11/7/2006 Malfeasance UT Diebold Utah County. Voters were turned away from the polls when the machines used to program Diebold voter access cards malfunctioned. Story
11/7/2006 Wrong ballot UT Diebold Salt Lake. Half of the first 8 people to vote in one polling place were given the wrong ballot. Story Archive
11/5/2006 Ballot printing IN Diebold Union County. Ballots in 5 precincts are missing the contest for 1st District Commissioner. Fidlar, who printed the ballots, made the error, which the county officials failed to catch in proofing. The county will provide a supplemental ballot to voters on election day, but 121 absentee ballots that are missing the race have already been cast. These voters are being contacted to come to the courthouse and cast the supplemental ballot. Story Archive
11/4/2006 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Trumbull County and elsewhere in the state. Diebold touch screens fail to display one of the pages of text for Issue 2 when they are in "large-text mode". Story Archive
11/3/2006 Paper ballots (late) CA Diebold San Diego. Additional ballots ordered from Diebold were late because of "problems with the printing press operation." 5,000 Xeroxed copies of the ballot were sent out instead. The staff will duplicate the returned ballots onto standard ballots. Story Archive
11/3/2006 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Cuyahoga County. Diebold scanner fails one of four pre-election tests. Michael Vu said, "It's not unusual in the testing that we find an anomaly. Our testing is going over and beyond the normal testing of the past." The officials will check the calibration. Some machines may be too sensitive and will be set aside and replaced. Story Archive
11/3/2006 Malfeasance TN Diebold Shelby County. Several electronic voting cards, used to cast ballots on Diebold touch screens, are missing from a polling place in Memphis, according to the Tennessee Republican Party. "Once cast, an illegal vote made with the reprogrammed Smartcard would be indistinguishable from a legally cast vote," Davis wrote. Story
11/3/2006 Machine malfunction TX Diebold El Paso County. Vote-switching by Diebold touch screens. Review screens show the wrong choices - switching Democratic vote to Republican in at least one case. County attorney is investigating. Some voters had to correct the review screen three times, before it registered correctly. Story Archive Story2 Archive2

11/22/06 update. Problem logs requested by KTSM newschannel 9 show that, in the presence of an election judge, "a janitor in precinct 108 removed tamper seals and opened some voting machines." Story

11/2/2006 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Volusia County. The clock setting of the machines apparently goes back an hour every time they are turned on and off. So units at the four early-voting sites could be off by as much as six hours. Ann McFall, the Volusia County supervisor of elections, is concerned that the machines might stop accepting votes early on election day because of the incorrect clock setting. Malfunctions of the voting machines' clocks are believed to be confined to the five counties Polk, Putnam, Glades, Leon and Volusia that got the new, Class D machines from Diebold, which have not been certified by the state. Story Archive

Diebold spokesperson David Bear called the malfunction a human error and said it doesn't affect the integrity of the machines. Story2 Archive2

11/2/2006 Machine malfunction TX Diebold Collin County - near Dallas. Vote-switching to Republicans. Diebold touch screens switch votes from Libertarian to Republican, and from Democrat to Republican.

"The machine I was using recorded a vote for a Republican three times instead of the Libertarian I chose in three cases for individuals.listed in succession on the screen. I was so shocked I spoke out-loud that the machine was not recording my votes, but giving my votes to a candidate I did not choose. I had to make three corrections in successive order to correct these three errors. I was even more shocked when the summary appeared. I saw that Perry, Dewhurst and Combs were being credited with votes I DID NOT CAST FOR ANY OF THEM! I am positive who I chose for those offices and Chris Bell was being denied the vote I cast. These three errors in the summary were corrected by me before the ballot was submitted and my card withdrawn. I will forever believe that the machine I was using was rigged to switch votes to Republicans." Story Archive

10/26/2006 Machine malfunction MD Diebold It is now revealed that Diebold replaced 4,700 system boards in Maryland's touch screen machines in 2005 to eliminate the "screen freezes" that have occurred since the machines were purchased in 2002. "The screen freezes do not cause votes to be lost, officials said." Both Diebold and Linda Lamone kept this information from the state board of elections. Story Archive
10/20/2006 Paper ballots (late) MD Diebold Local officials in four major Maryland jurisdictions say ballots, printed by Diebold, are unusually late. "Voters are requesting absentee ballots in large numbers this year because of glitches that have plagued the new electronic voting machines built by Diebold Elections Systems Inc." Local officials say the ballots normally arrive 30 days before the election. State board of elections agrees with Diebold, who says the ballots aren't late. Story Archive

October 26. Ballots are "trickling in" from Diebold. Some jurisdictions have half what they need. Some only have 20%. "It's really terrible," said Robert J. Antonetti Sr., elections administrator in Prince George's County. "Time is running out. It's going to deny people the right to vote." Story Archive

10/18/2006 Machine malfunction TN Diebold Shelby County. Two women were given the wrong ballot for the Diebold touch screen. For one, the Germantown races -- not her town -- appeared first. For the other, those races appeared last. When she looked for a poll worker to inform about the problem, the machine timed out, cancelled her ballot, blanked the screen, and ejected her voter card. With no proof that her ballot had been cancelled, she was not allowed to vote a regular ballot, but only given a provisional ballot. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Canvass anomalies GA Diebold Rome. Excessive undervote rates on the Diebold touch screen voting machines. 30% undervotes in the school board contest. 15% undervotes in the City Commission contest. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Fulton County. Diebold touch screen register votes incorrectly on the screen, require recalibration in at least five polling locations. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Fulton County. Three machines at one polling place switched voters votes. They were taken out of service. "One candidate tells Channel 2, the discrepancy may force a race into an unnecessary run-off." Story Archive
11/8/2005 Ballot printing OH Diebold Scioto County. Absentee ballots were too wide for the Diebold optical scanner and had to be trimmed with scissors.The ballots were printed by Dayton Legal Blank, Inc, which supplies ballots and services 85 of Ohio's 88 counties. The problem was not detected until live ballots were scanned. Officials describe the machines as "not tested sufficiently." Apparently no absentee ballots were tested. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Lucas County. Some voters left without voting when the new Diebold voting machines weren't up and running when the polls were supposed to open. Memory cards couldn't be found at one polling place; voting machines couldn't be found at another. Story
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Stark County. Poll workers ran into problems setting up the Diebold voting machines. Some panicked when they attempted to assemble the machines and the machines didn't work properly. 42 workers ran to polling stations to help. Operations weren't fully running until mid-morning. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Montgomery County. Ballot programming error. The wrong candidates were displayed on the touch screens (Diebold). Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Montgomery County. Diebold touch screens show "low paper error" in 30 to 40 precincts (explained as a result of jostling during transport). Some poll workers had trouble inserting memory cards into the machines, and in two precincts machines were taken out of service in the morning because of malfunctions. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Wood County. New Diebold touch screen machines weren't up an running at many precincts when the polls opened. "But all precincts had at least one machine up by 6:40 a.m. and all machines in the majority of the county were available for voters by about 7:30 a.m." Story
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Lucas County. "Technical issues," difficulties with the memory cards, and "problems with the new technology" (Diebold touch screens) were some of the causes of the "chaos" in the election. Chain of custody issues, too: "But the scene at midnight was one of chaos on the third floor, with the special red and green bags holding memory cartridges and printed tapes of votes lining the hallways, piled on the floor in the elections office, and dumped in a large cart sitting unattended near the elevators." Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Medina County. The new Diebold touch screen system reported incomplete results as complete, because the computer program that made that determination was based on polling places, not on the number of precincts. David Baer, spokesman for Diebold Elections Systems, said that they can report results in a number of ways and that first-time users often find they need to tweak the reporting programs to get the kinds of reports they need. Story Archive
11/3/2005 Machine malfunction CO Diebold Pitkin County. Nearly 1200 phantom votes (more votes than voters) were reported in one precinct. Diebold AccuVote precinct optical scanners were used. "A recount is possible if election officials can't pin down the exact cause of the problem." Story Archive
3/8/2005 Machine malfunction MD Diebold All Maryland voting machines have been on ''lockdown'' since November 2, 2004 due to statewide machine failures including 12% of machines in Montgomery County, some of which appear to have lost votes in significant numbers.

According to the IT Report to the Montgomery County Election Board, dated December 13, 2004, screen freezes, which occurred on 106 voting units were "the most serious of errors" because many "froze when the voter pressed the Cast Ballot button." As a result "election judges are unable to provide substantial confirmation that the vote was in fact counted." Story Archive

1/11/2005 Canvass anomalies WA Diebold King County. Some voters appear twice on the registration rolls. The discrepancy between signed-in voters and number of ballots was attributed to people who were probably permitted to cast poll-site ballots without signing the poll book. Story
11/23/2004 Machine malfunction MD Diebold TrueVoteMD's trained election observers 201 machine malfunction in the 108 precincts they observed, which represent 6% of the state's precincts. Among the problems were 42 instances of machine crashes, 30 screen malfunctions, 17 instances when votes were switched on the screen, 37 problems with the ballot encoder, and 16 incidents in which the ballot was incorrect or incomplete. Story Archive
11/16/2004 Machine malfunction IN Diebold Ripley County discovered an error with Fidlar Election Co. optical scan memory cards, Ripley County Clerk Ginger Bradford said. The memory cards that count the votes in optical scanners had the wrong precinct labels, so the cards were sent back to the company to be reprogrammed. Story Archive
11/13/2004 Machine malfunction IN Diebold Franklin County. Inadequate testing.Tests with Fidlar's optical-scan equipment before the election found no problems. Yet during the election, it gave straight-party Democrat votes to Libertarians, affecting the outcome of the county commissioners' race. Story Archive
11/13/2004 Machine malfunction NC Diebold After data was transmitted from the precincts to the central station, it was discovered that there was no data for the Dallas precinct in the GEMS database. Office records from election night, kept by a staff member, showed that information was received, Gaston County Elections Director Sandra Page said. She believes the computer system recorded a successful transmission without receiving any data. Story Archive
11/11/2004 Machine malfunction TX Diebold Collin County. Diebold touch screen voting machine locked up on election day. County officials couldn't retrieve the results, so they sent the memory card to Diebold labs in Canada so technicians there could get the totals. The mere fact that a piece of Collin County's election record left the country should be cause for concern. [Note: Diebold Election Systems is located in McKinney, Texas, the county seat of Collin County, Texas.] Story Archive
11/8/2004 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Election officials in Twigg and Hancock counties had early-morning difficulties programming the correct ballots into some of their systems. The encoders built into the balky systems "were still encoded for the primaries, and they hadn't been updated," Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Volusia County. Memory-card breakdowns in six machines left political contests in limbo for hours. The county had the memory cards inspected by Diebold this summer in preparation for the busy election season. Ion Sancho, the elections supervisor in Leon County, said officials with Diebold told him that the new, higher-capacity memory cards tend to have more glitches than older cards. Story Archive
Records: 121-160 of 175
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