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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
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction ME Cumberland County. A memory card malfunctioned in one of the three tabulation machines. Because election officials were unsure which machines had processed the absentee ballots, they decided to recount all of 6000 absentee ballots to be safe. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction MI The NAACP reports malfunctioning voter machines in 10 Michigan precincts statewide have caused long waits and in some cases, people gave up waiting and left without voting. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction MN ESS Hennepin County. M-100 Optical scanners aren't working at Brooklyn Center and Buffalo. In Buffalo, lines backed up at the voting machines, despite no lines at the booths. The machine was spitting out ballots and returning error messages. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Registration delays MS Reported to 1-866-OURVOTE: A caller reported that she collected 500 registrations and submitted all of them. She checked the status of several of them today and evidently none of them had been processed. Story
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Essex County. One of three AVC Advantage electronic voting machines malfunctioned at George Washington Carver elementary school. During the malfunction about 50 voters were asked to vote on paper.

When two machines malfunctioned at Conklin Hall near the Rutgers-Newark campus, voters were turned away and asked to come back later after the machines were replaced. Story Archive

11/4/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Hudson County. Votes cast on AVC Advantage paperless electronic voting machine are stored on cartridges. The cartridge readers in several municipalities, including Bayonne, Union City, Secaucus, and West New York aren't working. County Clerk Barbara Netchert said her office's computer experts visited all the local clerks' offices last week and the readers were working. But now that it's game day, the system has collapsed. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Provisional ballots NJ Sequoia Burlington County. Poll workers accidentally closed the AVC Advantage electronic voting machines at the start of the day. The article says that voters were given provisional ballots. Story Archive
11/4/2008 (Other) NY Reported to VotersUnite: I applied for an absentee ballot two months ago. I never received it. I called The Bronx Board of Elections and could not get an operator. I left a message. They never responded. My voice was stolen.
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Tompkins County. One of the ballot marking machines intended for voters with disabilities froze up during the instruction phase and could not be used. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Ballot printing OH Belmont County. The County Board of Elections officials are asking some voters to head back to the after a St. Clairsville renewal levy was left off some paper ballots. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction OH ESS Franklin County. Vote-flipping reported on the iVotronic touch screen machine. One woman reported that the iVotronic flipped her vote for President. A man reported that it flipped 75% of his votes, but he caught the errors on the review screen and corrected them. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction OH ESS Franklin County. A man who voted in Grove City said the iVotronic touch screen machine shut down on him, forcing him to cast his ballot after voting on only three of eight pages. He said the same thing happened to his wife. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction OH ESS Knox County. Obama and McCain were missing from the ballots on one of the iVotronic touch screen machines at one precinct. The machine was out of order for a time because it would only cast ballots for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction OH ESS Ohio County. Serious calibration problems with the iVotronic touch screen machines. Poll workers have to calibrate after about 10 voters. Toni Chieffalo, elections coordinator for Ohio County said, "Our poll workers were taught they need to calibrate all day long. After 10 or so voters, the machines go out of line. It takes two minutes to calibrate." Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Stark County. Some touch screen machines didn't print the voter-verifiable paper record and were taken out of service. Others were broken down (apparently paper jams). Poll workers handed out paper ballots, but failed to give some voters both pages of the ballot. Some voters deposited the first page and do not get another chance to vote the second page. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Too few machines OH ESS Ohio County. Long lines, with voters complaining that more e-voting machines aren't available. Toni Chieffalo, elections coordinator for Ohio County, said she had requested 10 more machines for Ohio County, but the request wasn't approved by the Secretary of State because the machines were slightly different. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Check-in problems PA Reported to VotersUnite: I waited over an hour and a half to vote because, while the book was divided into three sections, and there were four women working at the table, only one woman was controlling the book. Another women was checking names off of a list, another was handwriting each voters name on a list and a fourth was handing out tickets that told people they were allowed to vote after they signed in. As I waited in line, I saw many people just drive on through when they saw the line, and because there were so many people they had no place to park.
11/4/2008 Deceptive practices PA Reported to 1-866-OURVOTE: - flyers and calls giving voters serious misinformation, like instructing people to vote on Wednesday. Story
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction PA Diebold Northumberland County. Early Tuesday, at about 7:30 a.m., poll workers discovered that voters who cast a straight-party ticket on the paperless electronic voting machine could not see a summary of the candidates they voted for on the review screen. The machines were impounded. Story Archive Story2
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction TN Diebold Shelby County. The Barlett municipal ballot did not load onto the machines in some polling places, preventing many Barlett voters from being able to vote in the city election. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Check-in problems TX Reported to VotersUnite: My husband was turned away from the polling station because the person at the check-in desk claimed our address did not exist. Our home is about 4 blocks from this polling station. We later called 335-vote and confirmed he was at the right location for precinct 4164 and that the our address is listed properly and in the correct precinct.
11/4/2008 Poor design TX Hart InterCivic Reported to VotersUnite: Even though I know better than to vote a straight-party option, I selected straight-party Democratic on the eSlate electronic voting machine in Precinct 60. All the Democratic candidates were selected. Then I deselected the straight-party option, but all the Democratic candidates remained selected.

I then attempted to remove the Democratic selections by hitting the LIBERTARIAN PARTY straight ticket selection. That worked. Now I was voting only for Libertarians. I could find NO WAY to NOT vote for one of the straight ticket choices (Dem, Rep, Libertarian) once I had first selected any straight ticket. Even if all three straight ticket options were unchecked.

I asked the pollworker to give me a clean slate, and erase everything. He looked around (I know he has worked elections before), shrugged and said, no, I would have to go through and just uncheck all the selections.

11/4/2008 Deceptive practices VA Reported to 1-866-OURVOTE: - flyers and calls giving voters serious misinformation, like instructing people to vote on Wednesday. Story
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction VA AVS Fairfax County. "A handful" of memory cards didn't work when the WinVote machines were opened. Paper ballots will be used until the problem is corrected. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Provisional ballots VA Thousands of voters in Virginia found themselves stuck in long lines today because of broken machines and inadequate polling site resources. To help move things along, some of them were reportedly given provisional ballots -- but voting by provisional ballot significantly lowers the chance their vote will be counted. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Too few machines VA AVS Reported to 1-866-OURVOTE: Blacksburg in Montgomery County. Voters are calling to say there are too few machines to handle the large crowds. Story
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Marion County. The system quit tabulating around 7:30 pm when the clerks tried to feed in the results of early voting. Officials don't know why. Story Archive
11/3/2008 Deceptive practices MO Reported to VotersUnite: I am phoning to get out the vote in Missouri, and a woman told me she had received 2 different phone calls to say her place of voting had been changed. Neither of them were the same location that she had been told to report for voting. Her area code is 314.
11/3/2008 Paper ballots (late) MO Reported to VotersUnite: We requested absentee ballots three weeks before the election. We did not receive the ballot until November 3, making it impossible to send the ballot back in time. The election office worker that we spoke to says the request was processed on October 19th but the ballots weren't mailed until October 31st.
11/3/2008 Registration errors TN Reported to VotersUnite: We moved from the Memphis, TN area in 1992 and requested our name be removed from the election process in Tennessee as we live in another state. Last year I received a summons for jury duty in Memphis, TN. It is my understanding the jury pool is pulled from the registered voters. We are startled that our names have remained on the books since 1992 after we informed the office to remove our names in 1993.
11/2/2008 Accessibility FL Reported to VotersUnite: My wife and I waited over 3.5 hours to early vote at the Miramar City Hall in Miramar, FL. As a diabetic, I obviously have health issues. A poll volunteer was alerted by my wife that I am diabetic and offered to get us in the front of the line so at least I could sit down while waiting to vote. The volunteer was informed by the polling supervisor that "he did not care that I was a diabetic" and refused to let me and my wife in. There had to be at least a 4 to 5 hour wait at our original point in the line.

Because of this, we will not vote in this election. My constitutional right to vote has been denied.

11/2/2008 Provisional ballots NJ A third of New Jersey's counties are asking newly registered voters to cast provisional ballots on Election Day because they aren't included in the official poll books, and the counties don't want to issue supplemental lists of registered voters. Story Archive
11/2/2008 Registration errors VA Reported to VotersUnite: I looked up my registration on line and found I wasn't there. I called my local registrar's office and we figured out that they had the last 4 digits of my social security number wrong, but that I was indeed registered and would have had no trouble at the voting booth even if they hadn't corrected the problem. When my partner looked up his registration online, it was the same story. He called the registrar, and they had transposed 2 numbers in the last 4 of his social also.
11/1/2008 Registration errors MI Reported to VotersUnite: I registered to vote at least twice through the Dept. of Human Services pursuant to the requirements of the Motor Voter Act (NVRA). Nothing shows up in state computer databases, and they claim they don't need to keep any paper backups, not DHS, not County Clerk, not City clerk. So the computer is the only evidence, so they claim I can't vote.
11/1/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machine. "three more voters told Guilford County GOP Chairman Bill Wright that machines switched presidential votes at Pleasant Garden Town Hall and Friendly Center in Greensboro. With help, voters corrected their ballots." Story Archive
10/31/2008 Malfeasance CO Secretary of State Coffman continues to purge voters at the eleventh hour, in violation of an agreement his office made in a federal lawsuit settlement. A federal judge has now ordered him to cease purging voters immediately. The Colorado Independent reports: ""The Advancement Project, a voter protection organization, filed suitagainst Coffman late last week for canceling as many 30,000 voters within 90 days of the federal election, a breach of the National Voter Registration Act. Coffman’s office settled with the Advancement Project late Wednesday evening, agreeing to let purged individuals vote by provisional ballot. But he has removed an additional 146 voters from the rolls since then." 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

10/31/2008 Paper ballots (late) FL Reported to VotersUnite: After spending hours in long lines prior to me leaving for a two week business trip, I requested an absentee ballot. I requested this ballot on Oct 24, 2008. As of today, I still have not received the absentee ballot. I have attempted to call the Board of Elections staying on hold for over 20 mintues. I also left a voice mail and sent e-mail to discuss this issue with a Board of Elections official. So far no results.

Update 11/03/08. It is now the day prior to the election and still no absentee ballot. I have not received any communication or response from the Broward County Board of Elections. I am currently on hold utilizing the number for Absentee Ballots. I have not received any response to my request for assistance or communication via e-mail or phone! I am officially desparate.

10/31/2008 E-pollbook GA Atlanta. Voter check-in machines couldn’t access the Secretary of State’s system shortly after 7 p.m. on Thursday night. 500 people were waiting in line and 10-15 of them left before the problem was fixed two hours later. Story Archive Story2
10/31/2008 Accessibility IN Vigo County. A blind man, attempting to vote early, was not allowed to have assistance to vote. Poll workers claimed that assistance was only allowed at polling sites, and the early voting satellite location was not a polling site. Story Archive
Records: 161-200 of 1280
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