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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
5/16/2007 Machine malfunction PA ESS Westmoreland County. Poll workers in several precincts had trouble printing zero tapes on the iVotronics. Zero tapes show that no votes have been cast yet -- that the ballot box is empty. Election Bureau Director Jim Montini said the zero tapes could be printed any time before the polls close. Story Archive
5/16/2007 Machine malfunction PA ESS Allegheny County. Various problems with the iVotronic touch screens: undefined malfunctions turned voters away from at least one polling place; write-in feature either didn't work or was unintuitive; voters complained that the machines didn't allow them to undervote in races where they could vote for more than one candidate; some said the machine made them start over. Story Archive
5/16/2007 Too few machines PA ESS McKean County. Long lines with low turnout on the iVotronic touch screen. "voters experienced long waits at polling locations - the voter turnout was 26.11 percent, according to Director of Elections Judy Ordiway." Story Archive
5/15/2007 Machine malfunction PA ESS Centre County. Computer malfunction took down all the iVotronics at one polling site for two hours. Story Archive
5/9/2007 Machine malfunction IN ESS Marion County. Polls could not be kept open late because the machines were not programmed to operate after 6:00.!! Story Archive
5/9/2007 Vote suppression IN ESS Marion County. 150 poll workers didn't show up; wrong ballots were delivered; wrong keys prevented poll workers from opening machines; some polls didn't open at all. Story Archive
1/8/2007 Canvass anomalies TX ESS Hill County. Two citizens who monitored recounts claim to have observed a pattern that indicates that every 10th vote on the iVotronic voting machines flipped votes from Democratic to Republican candidates. Story Archive
12/15/2006 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. About 9 percent of the printers attached to the county’s voting machines had a jam or other problem. In many cases, that problem made the paper record generated unusable for purposes of a state-mandated audit, according to county elections director George Gilbert. Story Archive
11/30/2006 Machine malfunction WV ESS Marshall County. A software error prevented the county from tabulating the results in a recount. 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
11/23/2006 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. "Accessible" features of the iVotronic voting machine failed to provide independent voting for a visually impaired woman who tried it. Story Archive
11/20/2006 Machine malfunction SC ESS Kershaw County. ES&S ballot programming error in the iVotronics. The machines were set up to prompt for two votes in a "vote-for-one" contest. Story Archive
11/19/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Smith County. The county's central tabulating computer failed on election night. An ES&S technician removed the hard drive and installed it in another computer, which was used to tally the votes. Paula Patterson, Smith County elections administrator, said, "Computers and other equipment can fail occasionally." Story
11/16/2006 Machine malfunction MT ESS Flathead County. Optical scanner memory cartridges read by the computers counted all votes for just one candidate. Story Archive
11/16/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Williamson County. iVotronic touch screen machines count every vote three times. Story Archive
11/15/2006 Machine malfunction RI ESS Pawtucket. Disabled voters find AutoMARK difficult to use. Ballot-scanners don't accept the ballots. Story Archive
11/15/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Williamson County. Williamson County spokeswoman Connie Watson said that computer software counted each electronic vote three times, making the initial reported vote total about 6,500 more than the actual total. Most of the votes in the county were cast on paper ballots. 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
11/14/2006 Machine malfunction OR ESS Jackson County. ES&S Moel 550 ballot scanners miscount, jam, and fail to read the blue ink they were upgraded to read. Story Archive
11/14/2006 Malfeasance PA ESS Centre County. Office of Elections told poll workes to begin voting on two machines without printing the zero tapes that show no votes are already cast, because the iVotronic that prints the zero tapes was not working. Story Archive
11/14/2006 Poor design PA ESS Centre County. As many as 50 voters walked away without completing their ballots by pressing the Vote button. Story Archive
11/13/2006 Ballot printing AR ESS Crawford County. ES&S provided the ballot printer with the wrong format, and the software provided by ES&S for the scanners wouldn't read the ballots, which had to be counted by hand. Story Archive

11/14/06 update - County Clerk Patti Hill and commission members said they have tried repeatedly to contact ES&S officials in the wake of the election and have so far not received any response to messages left on company answering machines. Hill suggested a meeting be called between state election officials, the Arkansas Secretary of State and an executive with ES&S to discuss issues that have arisen in elections and the company’s contract with the state. Story Archive

11/13/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Crawford County. iVotronic votes from one precinct weren't included in the initial tally. Story Archive
11/13/2006 Machine malfunction OH ESS Athens County. M100 precinct scanners failed to scan ballots in at least two polling places. Story Archive
11/13/2006 Machine malfunction SC ESS Greenville County. The county had problems with five of its approximately 1,000 iVotronic voting machines. Some of the machines had loose connections and another had power source problems. The repairs to the machines required a technician from ES&S to drive from Charleston on election night. Story Archive
11/13/2006 Machine malfunction WV ESS Fayette County. Programming in the ES&S M100 scanners tabulated the votes incorrectly. County Clerk Kelvin Holliday had instituted a cross-checking system and discovered that tallies didn't match. Correcting the tallies changed the margins in several races. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
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
11/11/2006 Machine malfunction ID ESS Bannock County. M100s couldn't read ballots. "voting machine malfunctions caused serious election night complications." Scanners failed to recognize the ink recommended by the manufacturer. One scanner broke down. Story Story2 Archive2
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
11/10/2006 Machine malfunction FL ESS Charlotte, Sumter, and Lee Counties. Excessive "undervotes" in the contest for state attorney general. 21%, 22%, and 18% respectively. Officials speculate that the contest was not obvious on the ES&S iVotronic screen, but wonder why voters didn't notice the undervote on the review screen. Story Archive

Note: In other counties using the iVotronic (Broward, Miami-Dade), voters complained that the contest did not appear on their screens.

11/9/2006 Poor design AR ESS Faulkner County. Problems merging early voting totals with election day cause officials to call ES&S to walk them through the process. Initially, the early vote totals were added twice to the totals. Story Archive
11/9/2006 Machine malfunction OH ESS Franklin County. Five of the 19 iVotronic machines in four precincts were inoperable for at least part of Election Day. ES&S technicians who refused to identify themselves repaired the machines and placed them back in use. Story
11/9/2006 Machine malfunction PA ESS Luzerne County. Vote-switching reported on the ES&S iVotronic.
Evelyn Graham, a Hazleton City Councilwoman, said she touched the box for Republican gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann, and it highlighted as her selection. But when she moved on to the next race and picked Republican senatorial candidate Rick Santorum, Graham said she noticed that Rendell’s name had become highlighted as her selection. Graham said she returned to the governor’s race, de-selected Rendell and selected Swann. “I did it four to six times, and each time it changed back to Rendell.” ... "I do not believe that there is an honest election possible anymore with these machines."
Another voter had her vote for Republican Santorum vote changed to Democrat Casey. Story Archive

Follow-up, Piazza established a procedure to attempt to prevent future problems. Archive2

11/9/2006 Poor design TX ESS Hill County. The computer operator couldn't get the votes from paper ballots to combine with votes submitted electronically, delaying the results. The operator was an ES&S technician. 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
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction FL ESS Sarasota County. The Jennings-Buchanan Congressional race was impacted by ES&S iVotronics malfunctions. The race did not show up on some screens, and dozens of voters complained that their selections did not appear on the review screen. There were more than 18,000 undervotes in that contest, while the contest above and below it on the ballot had fewer than 2000 undervotes. Story Archive

Jennings attorneys say the law allows a recount for the small margin (less than 1/4%), and they believe machine problems caused a loss of votes. Story Archive

11-9-06 Update. While the touch screen undervote in the Jenning-Buchanan race was 13% in the county, paper absentee ballots showed a 1.8% undervote in that race. Story

Records: 121-160 of 279
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