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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
11/8/2004 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
11/8/2005 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
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Clayton County. Diebold touch screen problems caused delays. Polling places stayed open late. Story
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction GA Diebold DeKalb, Fulton, and Cobb Counties. Vote-switching on the Diebold touch screen machines. By mid afternoon, 30-40 voters reported that votes for Democrats are switched to Republicans on the screen. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction GA Diebold DeKalb County. Diebold touch screen machines broke down causing long lines and dozens of voters leaving without voting. A judge ordered voting hours extended at one polling place. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Effingham County. Undefined Diebold voting machine problems. And, a computer malfunction prevented transmission of the results from nine precincts. Technicians retrieved results through other means. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
11/9/2006 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Bibb County. Vote-switching on Diebold touch screens. Malfunctioning machine taken out of service. Story Archive
11/9/2006 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Bibb County. Problems reading memory cards. "The server receiving data from the memory cards had the incorrect host name and wouldn't read the information, Carr said. Technicians were able to fix the problem, which also happened during the July primary." Story Archive
11/6/2007 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Fulton County. In the new city of Chattahoochee Hill Country, the TSx electronic voting machines malfunctioned, and after trying for about an hour, the city reverted to using paper ballots for the day's elections. By 8:30 the machines were fixed. Story Archive
2/5/2008 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Atlanta. Lines reached 90 minutes long at one Atlanta middle school where equipment kept crashing; elsewhere, voters had to wait in lines of up to two hours and people turned away from polls after seeing how long they would have to wait. At another precinct, voting was delayed when only one of five voting booths were working and election workers had to hand out 75 paper ballots. Elsewhere, a precinct opened only to discover the wrong keys had been delivered with its new electronic voting machines. Story Archive
2/5/2008 Machine malfunction GA Diebold McIntosh County. Diebold e-voting machines failed to work when the polls first opened. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Fulton County (Atlanta). In South Fulton County, all voting machines at the Bible Way Ministries precinct went down for about an hour and then the polling place ran out of printed ballots and paper provisional ballots. The voting machines were working again an hour later. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction IA ESS Scott County. An ES&S automatic absentee ballot-counting machine broke down about 1 p.m. today in Scott County, forcing election officials to start over in counting an estimated 23,000 ballots. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction IA ESS Greene and Harrison Counties reported malfunctions in their ES&S Model 115 ballot-counting machines that delayed counting. Harrison County got its machine fixed shortly after midnight and resumed counting. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction IA ESS Butler County. ES&S M100 ballot scanners were reading straight-party votes incorrectly, activating the undervote warning wrongly. But officials said the votes were tabulated correctly. The ballot programming error was made in-house. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction IA ESS Fayette County. iVotronics freeze when the PEB is inserted too quickly. “That’s just a common problem,” Auditor Larry Popenhagen said. “They just have to be careful to do it when they’re supposed to.” Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction IA Diebold Pocahontas County. Printers on the Diebold TSx touch screens weren't printing the zero tapes at the start of the day to show that no votes had yet been cast. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction IA ESS Pottawattamie County. Software programming error on the ES&S tabulator delayed counting. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction IA ESS Calhoun County. ES&S M100 scanners locked up and had to be reset by election officials. Story Archive
8/11/2007 Machine malfunction IA Diebold In the Iowa Straw Poll, "About 1,500 ballots needed to be recounted, said Mary Tiffany, a spokeswoman for Republican Party of Iowa.

"Two machines caused the problem, said State Auditor David Vaudt. “What likely happened is someone submitted their ballot too quickly after the other,” he said. The ballots from those machines were hand counted, then re-fed into the system to recalculate the vote. A campaign poll-watcher said in one instance, a black box contained 500 paper ballots but the machine’s memory said it had scanned in 498." Story

11/6/2008 Machine malfunction IA Diebold Scott County. Two memory card failure delayed the tabulation of results. The memory cards held the results of 11,627 ballots cast in early voting. Election officials turned to printout tapes of the summary reports to be manually entered into the computer system, but the software required more detailed and time-consuming precinct-by-precinct information to be entered. Story Archive
11/13/2008 Machine malfunction IA Diebold Blackhawk County. A hand recount showed seven less ballots than the optical scanner reported in the Waterloo precinct. In another precinct, 18 valid votes were found on the 19 ballot rejected by the scanner. Story Archive
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
5/18/2004 Machine malfunction IL Diebold DuPage County. Upload of the York 58 precinct memory card failed, but the GEMS server showed the upload was successful. The failure was not detected until the next day when reports were run and zero votes were reported for each race in the precinct. PDF (2 Mb), see page 3.
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction IL Illinois State University. Almost 2,000 on-campus students braved long lines and three-hour waits to cast ballots at the Bone Student Center. As the line of students stretched past 500, many were late or missed class while waiting to vote. Story
11/2/2006 Machine malfunction IL Sequoia Chicago and Cook County. Vote-switching on the Sequoia touch screen. "Corrine Stoker pushed the button for one candidate, but her voting machine showed she voted for the opponent." Problems like Stoker's are "extremely rare," officials said, but can happen with electronic machines. Story Archive

Vote for Democratic gubernatorial candidate switches to Republican candidate. "Alignment keeps going out. Voters complain," a poll worker complaint filed Friday said. "They recalibrate. A couple voters later, they complain. They recalibrate. They complain, etc. For two days straight." Story Archive

11/2/2006 Machine malfunction IL Sequoia Chicago and Cook County. More Sequoia touch screen malfunctions. Trouble reports filed by voters and polling-place workers during early voting show glitches ranging from broken equipment to calibration issues with touch screens. "Screen goes black, beeps," reads one form. "Card will not lock into the unit," reads another. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction IL Sequoia Cook County. Sequoia touch screens have failed, and many precincts have run out of pens used to mark the paper ballots. By 1:40 pm, the election office had received over 100 complaints. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction IL Sequoia Cook County. Reports from voters. Vote-switching on Sequoia touch screens AND the paper print of the votes. Problems ejecting the voter access card. On demand printers not working - voter couldn't vote. Polling places late opening. Voter access cards not accepted by the machines. Voter given incorrect e-ballot. Printer jams. Touch screen machines broken down. Voter card stuck in the machine. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction IL Sequoia Cook County. Serious data transmission problems slow the vote tabulation. David Orr is investigating whether it is Sequoia software, hardware, or both. Story Archive
1/9/2007 Machine malfunction IL Sequoia Cook County. An investigative panel has found that " 'technology failures in multiple areas' and a lack of testing triggered a spiraling series of glitches that left some results unclear for days. "Although technology problems occurring on Election Night constituted the primary cause of the reporting delays, operational shortcomings in the process leading up to Election Day also played a role in failing to understand and thus mitigate the risks," the report said.

"The flawed user interface on the HAAT [machine designed to transmit vote totals from precincts to central office] led 90 percent of election judges to believe that they had successfully transmitted, whereas only 56 percent had actually done so," the report said. Story Archive

2/5/2008 Machine malfunction IL Sequoia Chicago and Cook County. Voting was delayed at a number of Chicago polling places, and voters were turned away for many and varied reasons: touch screen voting not working; equipment delivered to the wrong location; a security found unconscious inside; voters locked out "for security reasons"; pollworkers not showing up; doors unlabeled and locked.

Several of the delays were at least one or two hours, some prompting orders to keep locations open later in the evening. "Nonetheless, Chicago election officials claimed a "hugely successful" start, saying that only 9 of 2,579 precincts failed to open on time, and those by only 10 or 15 minutes." Story Archive

2/6/2008 Machine malfunction IL Sequoia Cook County. Election returns from the first precinct of the Second Ward in Evanston were missing 247 of its 540 ballots, said poll watcher Shannon Seiberling. The polling place uses a mix of optical-scan and computerized voting systems. Seiberling said the error probably occurred while poll workers were compiling the digital results from the four touch-screen voting machines at the polling place, when the scanner was supposed to add its total automatically. The number of missing votes equals the number of paper ballots that were scanned, though, according to the article, there is no way to determine whether this is what caused the discrepancy. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
2/7/2008 Machine malfunction IL ESS Lake County. An as-yet unidentified machine malfunction prevented M100 optical scan vote-tabulation machines at polling places across the county Tuesday night from connecting to the county's computers in Waukegan through the phone lines. (An independent consultant has been employed to investigate.) The county clerk's office successfully relied on a backup plan - driving the machines to the nearest transfer station - to get votes from 161 polling places to the county government center. Story Archive
3/8/2008 Machine malfunction IL Diebold DuPage County. In at least three precincts, the touchscreen machines flashed the word "Republican" at the start of the ballot in a two-party contest for Congressional District 14. The solution? Put a piece of masking tape over the screen where it appears. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction IL Sequoia Reported to VotersUnite -- vote-flipping on the Edge touch screen machine: I was at my polling place in Chicago, St. Ignatias Church on Glenwood Avenue. The worker informed me that when people voted on the machine at the start of the day, the voting machine malfunctioned. When someone pressed Obama, the machine recorded they actually voted for McCain. This was reported to City Hall; the machine was shut down and paper ballots are not being used.
4/9/2009 Machine malfunction IL Diebold St Clair County. Ward 1 polling place in Whiteside School. The votes were uploaded from both the optical scanner and the TSx touch screen, but the computer didn't count the 407 ballots from the optical scanner. Story Archive
5/2/2009 Machine malfunction IL Diebold St. Clair County. A "voting machine malfunction caused several hundred ballots to go uncounted" election night. When they were tallied, the results were reversed and the incumbent won the mayoral race. The article doesn't say if the voting machine malfunction was on the AccuVote optical scanner or the electronic voting machine. Story Archive
10/13/2004 Machine malfunction IN ESS Vanderburgh County. ES&S DRE. Ballots on the DREs fail to include numbers beside every candidate - as required by state law. Democrats sue, but county says state law forbids changing ballots in the middle of an election.Story Archive
Records: 161-200 of 616
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