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Election Problem Log - 2004 to 2009
Check out our other problem logs!
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 FL ESS Lee County. Printer on the ES&S iVotronic voting machines wouldn't print the zero tapes, which show that there are no ballots in the e-voting ballot box. Voting was delayed. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Duval County. In Woodlawn precinct, the Diebold scanner that counted the votes from the ballots was not working. 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

11/9/2006 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Hillsborough County. An unknown cause hindered votes from being retrieved from three electronic voting machines. Sequoia technicians fixed the problem. 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.

11/3/2007 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Florida. Diebold memory cards -- used in precinct optical scanners -- fail at rates as high as 9.2% and 9.4% in some counties. Failures have caused vote losses in the past. Diebold will inspect all the machines in Florida, but only those in Florida if they do not receive complaints from other states. Story Archive
11/7/2007 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Sarasota County. Scanners broke down at three precincts. One man said the scanner rejected his ballot four times before a poll worker took it to be scanned later. Story Archive
1/26/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Palm Beach County. Wireless Internet cards that poll workers use to quickly verify voters' political affiliation, which ballot they should receive and whether they are actually registered to vote stopped working properly for about three hours late Friday morning. Some voters were turned away. Some waited at the polls. Story Archive
1/29/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Palm Beach County. Sequoia activator card failed. Also, the touch screen machines were mistakenly shut down early at one polling place and couldn't be turned back on. Replacements were brought. Story Archive
1/29/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Volusia County. The canvassing board found a four-ballot discrepancy in ballots from one polling site, so 3986 ballots will be rescanned. This is a machine problem previously known to Diebold. Their advisory is here.
McFall said she received an advisory from the equipment's vendor last week saying similar problems had been encountered elsewhere. "The other sites balanced perfectly," McFall said. "I think it's the machine." Story Archive
1/29/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Sarasota County. Six optical scanners quit working and had to be replaced. Some machines had problems with the memory card, while others had a faulty scanner. Story Archive
1/29/2008 Machine malfunction FL ESS Miami Dade and Broward Counties. iVotronic touch screen machines. Presidential candidates did not appear on the ballots of some voters, both Democrats and Republicans. Story Archive
1/29/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Palm Beach County. A defective early-voting cartridge (electronic ballot box) prevented the county from completing the results. "Although a backup tape allowed elections staff to recoup the results, Anderson said the problem was so significant it may lead to the elections office having to reprogram all of its voting machines." Story Archive Story2
Follow up 1/31/08. Story3 Archive3 Archive2
1/29/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Palm Beach County. Voters reported malfunctions on the Edge touch screen machine. Some -- including Rush Limbaugh -- said the machine froze while voting. Some said their ballot was cast by the machine when they attempted to move ahead to the screen where they expected candidates to be listed. Story Archive
1/29/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Hillsborough County. Some voters said their ballot was cast by the Edge touch screen machine when they attempted to move ahead to the screen where they expected candidates to be listed. Story Archive
1/29/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Hillsborough County. Vote flipping on the Edge touch screen. "a voter would press the button for one candidate but the machine would read that vote as being cast for another candidate." Story Archive
1/30/2008 Machine malfunction FL ESS Benton County. iVotronic touch screen machines failed to start properly in all three early voting locations on Tuesday. "(Each machine ) just didn't want to open right. (It was ) a glitch in the program," for the electronic voting machines, Brown said. Story Archive
1/31/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold St. Lucie and Okeechobee Counties. Poll workers in several precincts in both counties were unable to transmit vote data electronically to the central office. Story Archive
2/21/2008 Machine malfunction FL ESS Broward County. Precinct D001 shows 79 more ballots on the iVotronics than the number of registered voters -- 1011 ballots, 932 voters registered in the precinct. "Overcounts" in smaller numbers appeared in other precincts, too. Story Archive
6/27/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Palm Beach County. About 700 votes for three precincts (14% of the total votes) weren't counted on election night after Tuesday's special city commission election. According to elections office spokeswoman Kathy Adams, the cartridges from those precincts hadn't been counted on election night when all the cartridges were brought to a tabulation center to be "read" by vote-counting machines. She said the office didn't know why the cartridges weren't read properly the first time. She said it was possible that one reader wasn't working properly and that all three cartridges were read by that reader. Story Archive
Update June 18. Recounting the cartridges added 707 votes, but did not change any outcomes. Story2 Archive2
8/12/2008 Machine malfunction FL Palm Beach County. Early voting was plagued Monday by a sluggish state computer system used to verify voters' identities. At some voting sites in Palm Beach County, delays were nearly an hour and so severe that poll workers warned prospective voters it might be easier for them to return to vote another day. Officials say the problem was resolved Monday night. Story Archive
8/27/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Brevard County. Touch screen machines in 50 precincts fail to transmit results to the central office by modem. This problem has occurred in previous elections. Story Archive
8/27/2008 Machine malfunction FL ESS Pinellas County. 12 scanners (new DS200) had to be replaced, according to county elections spokeswoman Nancy Whitlock. Some experienced paper jams, she said, and on some the screens froze. Story Archive
8/27/2008 Machine malfunction FL ESS Pasco County. Five DS200 scanners broke down. Eighteen weren't able to transmit results via modem. "poll workers had to pull out the thumb drive and take it to the elections office — although in one case it took three trips, because of confusion over who had the thumb drive." Story Archive
8/27/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Hillsborough County. An hour after the polls closed in Hillsborough, Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson told reporters that his optical scan vote counting system had developed a computer problem that was preventing it from posting the tallies electronically — and he blamed Premier Voting Solutions. "I haven't been able to get a straight answer from Premier, but I will by the end of the night," he said. "I expect them to fix this issue. We've paid a lot of money." Story Archive
Premier/Diebold admitted it was a problem with the equipment -- an incompatibility between the precinct scanners and the scanners used to tabulate absentee ballots. Story Archive Archive2 Archive3
8/27/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Sarasota County. When workers tried to count absentee ballots on election night, the optical scan machines would not communicate with the server. So more than 10,000 absentee ballots had to be hand-counted. "We could not get the absentee ballots totals to upload into the main server to combine all of the totals together for absentee early voting," says Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent. So workers had to count them individually. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
8/31/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Palm Beach County. A 17 vote margin favoring Abramson for Circuit Judge, out of 102,500 ballots cast, triggered a rescan of the ballots. The rescan showed only about 99,000 ballots cast, and the totals for the Circuit Judge contest dropped from about 90,700 to 87,800 votes. The rescan reversed the outcome, showing a 60 vote lead for Wennet. Abraham intends to file a lawsuit, since 3400 ballots "evaporated". Story Archive
Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson suggested the drop in votes could be due to scanners' sensitivity being different. But that doesn't explain why they were 3,400 fewer ballots scanned in the rescan. Story Archive Story2 Archive2

Update 9/4/08. After counting all ballots by hand, the county found 2,700 of the 3,400 missing ballots. The county intends to do a "more formal" count. Archive

Update 9/4/08. A welcome report that 2,700 of the 3,478 missing ballots had been found on Thursday was replaced with the grim news that workers had recovered only 957 ballots. Outcomes of other contests are now being questioned. Story Archive Story2 Archive2 Story3 Archive3

Update 9/5/08. The search for the missing ballots continues, with county employees searched polling locations, and elections staffers continuing to inspect their records. A check of voter registration logs from the polls is under way. So far voter totals look to be closer to the original ballot count after last Tuesday's election. A machine count of the ballots Thursday night (Sept 4) turned up nearly 3,000 fewer ballots than the original vote total after the election-- almost 500 fewer than a hand count earlier in the day. Canvassing board appears to have given up. "We can't count any more," said County Commissioner McCarty.
Wennet (hand-count winner) is pressing to certify the hand count. Abramson (election-night winner) is pressing to certify the original results. Story Archive Story2 Archive2.
Many more stories on this debacle. Update 9/12/08 AM. County officials believe they have found the missing ballots "in the county's vote-tabulating center near West Palm Beach." Story Archive

Update 9/12/08 PM. New troubles. Now there are more ballots than were counted on election night. 110 ballots recorded on a cartridge from one election day precinct weren't included in the intial count or the recount. And 139 more were found in the elections office. So, the county found a total of 249 more than were counted in either count. Story Archive

Update 10/2/08. Wennet's team did a machine recount of 262 previously rejected ballots. When the 262 ballots were fed through two tabulators used during the recounts, they rejected different numbers of ballots. All of them should have been rejected. "On the first two tests of 160 ballots, the machines accepted three ballots as good votes. On tests on 102 more ballots that should have been rejected, the machines first accepted 13 ballots as good votes and then 90 on a second run." Story Archive Story Archive

Update: 10/7/08Excellent summary of events with new information about the scanners' inconsistencies discovered during testing.

9/4/2008 Machine malfunction FL ESS Broward County. As required by Florida law, the Supervisor of Elections conducted a three-hour manual spot-check of results from 16 of the public defender race's 779 precincts, or about 2 percent. "Of the 16 chosen precincts — picked by drawing pieces of paper from a box — nine mirrored machine results while the other seven resembled original results by 95 percent or more." Thus in about 1% of the precincts, with just one race checked, the machine count was wrong by as much as 5%. Story Archive
10/20/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Duval County. (Jacksonville.) 7 of 15 OSX ballot-reading machines used for early voting would not read ballots, indicating the ballots were too long -- and causing long lines. Officials say they tested the machines and that the ballots are the standard size - 17 inches. Officials say Diebold needs to correct the problem. Long The problem continued the following day, with scanners refusing to read ballots (see Story 2). Story Archive Story2 Archive2

Leon County. The same problem is occurring here and other places in the state where the OSX is used. Story Archive Story2

Update 10/21/08. Officials are saying the machines' tolerance for improperly loaded ballots is too low. Story Archive

10/20/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Flagler County. New scanners are unable to read some ballots. Officials think they are too sensitive to variations in the physical length of the ballot. (Same problem as in Duval and Leon Counties.) Story Archive
10/31/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Palm Beach County. High-speed optical scanners (400C) are reading the creases in absentee ballots as votes. Overvotes are being rejected and duplicated on unfolded ballots for re-scanning. (The article doesn't mention creases improperly read without causing an overvote.) Story Archive

Update 10/03/08. State Representative Mary Brandenburg requested a hand count of her race, which is on the crease on some ballots. Both Sequoia and the elections office acknowledged that if the crease could cause the machine to count a vote in that race even if the voter did not vote, but the state declined to allow a hand count. The County Board said the crease could be used for a challenge. Story Archive Story2 Archive2

11/4/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Palm Beach County. The Insight optical scanner jammed at one polling place for much of the morning. Two other precincts reported problems (undescribed). Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction FL Optical scan machine failures are one of the leading issues facing voters in counties across Florida, according to Election Protection. Voters have reported malfunctioning optical scan machines and massive machine breakdowns in over 35 separate precincts and 25 counties in some of the most populous counties including Orange, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, and Sarasota. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Manatee County. When officials attempt to upload the vote data from memory cards into the central tabulator, they get an error message that prevents them from tallying the votes. About 2/3 of the county's ballots are affected. Officials say this has not happened before. Story Archive

Update 11/5/08. As many as 50,000 ballots are not yet counted. The results of the election could be delayed in several races, including Palmetto mayor and commission seats, a Bradenton Beach commission seat and in the multi-county races for Florida House District 69 and the public defender’s post. Story Archive

Update 11/5/08. Diebold/Premier eventually figured out the problem was caused by the software's inability to handle a candidate dropping out of a small race for fire commissioner after the computer program was written. Story Archive Story2 Archive2

Update 11/6/08. A simple change in one Manatee County race, where a candidate dropped out last week, caused the Premier software program known as GEMS to lock up. That prevented the counting of 46,000 ballots on Tuesday night, Supervisor of Elections Bob Sweat said. Story3 Archive3

11/5/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Hillsborough County. Students at the University of South Florida were still in line to vote at 10:30 p.m., and elections officials said computer problems were causing delays. Among the problems: elections officials had to break up early voting results into smaller pieces to prevent crashing the computer system, and about 150 optical scanners had trouble transmitting results and had to be manually taken to the elections office. Story Archive

More problems with vote tabulation for 13 early voting machines and problems accessing votes at two outstanding precincts. Story2 Archive2 Story3 Archive3 Story4 Archive4

Update 11/6/08. Tabulation is still not done. Elections workers began re-entering nearly 80,000 two-page ballots into the machines Thursday morning. Two state senators are calling on Governor Charlie Crist to get involved in Hillsborough County’s election. County Supervisor of Elections Johnson blames Premier, the company that makes the optical scan machines. But Premier is blaming the elections office for trying to upload too many votes at once, and for mixing early voting and Election Day ballots. Story Archive

11/5/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Palm Beach County. Problems with four memory cartridges from the optical scanners have prevented county election officials from posting complete unofficial results of Tuesday's race. While tests were still being done, Assistant County Administrator Brad Merriman said it is likely the ballots themselves will be run through tabulating machines later today. The bad cartridges represent thousands of votes. Story Archive
10/17/2009 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Sarasota County. In pre-election testing, they county found that the OSX scanners failed to read marks made with blue ink. The county's solution is to watch for ballots with blue ink, reproduce them with black ink and run them through the scanners. But the problem is intermittent. One ballot failed to scan properly, but scanned successfully the second time. The machines were Diebold/Premier AccuVote OSX Digital Scan Tabulator (Hardware Model A) with Firmware 1.0.2 . Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Twiggs County. Twiggs County voters arrived at the polls today to find they could not cast their votes on the Diebold computerized voting machines. The voting machines were down in all five precincts this morning because of an encoder problem from 7 a.m. until about 9 a.m., according to Twiggs Chief Registrar Linda Polk. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Beaufort County . There were a number of precincts that had some problems today with the computers, but at one precinct in Seabrook, the computer broke twice within the first hour. According to poll workers, the machines just wouldn't take the ballots. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Walker County. Delays began early in the day at the Chattanooga Valley precinct with problems with an encoder, which is used to program the voting cards, Walker Board of Elections member Terry Morgan said. Diebold, manufacturer of the electronic voting machines, did not program the encoder properly, he said. Story Archive
Records: 121-160 of 616
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