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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
10/31/2008 Registration delays NJ Reported to VotersUnite: My boyfriend registered to vote for the first time this year. He and I both live in Budd Lake in Morris County, New Jersey. On October 10 he mailed his registration in to Trenton. The deadline for registering was October 14. As of October 29 he had not received any verification of his registration, so he e-mailed the Superintendent of Elections for Morris County, Roseanne Travaglia. On October 30 he received an e-mail response asking him to call her office because she had questions about his registration. When he called, he learned that although he sent his completed registration to the correct address well before the deadline, a clerical error made him ineligible to vote. He was told that Trenton office forwarded his registration to Bergen County instead of Morris County. It arrived in Bergen by the deadline, but by the time Bergen County office forwarded his information to the Morris County office the deadline had passed. He was told that he would have to use a provisional ballot on Election Day in order to vote.

This is 100% clerical error - yet he is being penalized for something over which he had no control, and in fact is a human mistake made by employees of the State of New Jersey.

10/31/2008 Voter challenges SC Spartanburg County. "Spartanburg County Republican Party Chairman Rick Beltram, taking the role of a poll watcher, challenged the vote of 74-year-old Fannie Rogers because he didn't believe her signature matched what was on her credentials." The result was a fracus that "left one woman in tears, angered voters and activists on the left and the right, and it piqued the interest of the U.S. Department of Justice."

The wait time was close to four hours. Story Archive

10/31/2008 Machine malfunction TX Jefferson County. District 22 State Representative Joe Deshotel told KBMT 12 news he voted for each candidate individually (on the iVotronic touch screen machine) and noticed that after he made his selection his vote for Barack Obama had changed to John McCain. Story Archive
10/30/2008 Paper ballots (late) DC Sequoia Voters are voting early because they haven't received their absentee ballots. Election board officials said they sent out more than 16,000 absentee ballots -- about 5,000 have been returned -- but do not know yet how many did not reach their intended destination or why not. Story Archive
10/30/2008 Wrong ballot TX Hart InterCivic Galveston County. More than 100 voters in Santa Fe may have been given the code for the wrong ballot during the first two days of early voting. The mistake could call into question the validity of the outcome of the local school district’s $65 million bond proposals. Story Archive
10/29/2008 Machine malfunction CO Diebold Adams County. Vote-flipping from Democratic state Senate candidate to her Republican opponent on the Diebold/Premier touch screen voting machine. After this happened three times, she was allowed to vote on another machine. The machine has been quarantined. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
10/29/2008 Machine malfunction TX Diebold Collin County. Vote-flipping on the touch screen voting machine. Straight-party Democratic vote switched to Republican. Story Archive
10/29/2008 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Galveston County. Vote-flipping on the eSlate electronic voting machine. Straight-party Democratic vote switched to Republican presidential candidate. Story Archive
10/29/2008 Malfeasance TX Collin County. At one polling station, election workers improperly demanded photo IDs from every voter. At another station, voters whose names were not listed in the state's new electronic voter database – even some with registration cards – were turned away and told to come back later. Story Archive
10/28/2008 Paper ballots (late) CA Solano County. County election officials said they will be unable to meet the record demand for issuing early ballots through the mail to voters. Likely between 500 and 1,000 people won't be getting ballots sent to them despite making requests on their registration forms. "We were overwhelmed with the amount of voter registrations on Oct. 20, the final day to register," McWilliams said. "Over half wanted their ballot issued to them through the mail." Story Archive
10/28/2008 Registration errors CO Arapahoe County (Aurora). One woman who was wrongfully purged from the voter rolls went to the county office and got her registration re-instated, so she can vote in this election. From the article: "Morris is just one of thousands of Colorado voters who recently found out their voter registrations had been purged." And: "Hearings on a federal lawsuit on voter purging in Colorado will resume in federal court Wednesday." Story Archive
10/28/2008 Check-in problems FL Reported to VotersUnite from Broward County. I waited over 3 hours at the Halllandale Municipal Building for early voting. Brenda Snipes' large form says that a picture ID on a debit/credit card is sufficient. I was turned away as they said I needed a Driver's License. I am disabled but have a Bank of America picture ID debit/credit card. I called Dr. Snipe's office for two days and got the same recording without any option to leave a message. I, subsequently, called the Hollywood and Deerfield Beach numbers to lodge a complaint. It was only because I had my voter registration card that they allowed me to vote.
10/28/2008 E-pollbook GA Fulton and DeKalb Counties (Atlanta). Long lines (up to 8 hour wait-times) were caused by problems with the computerized poll books. Elections officials in Fulton, Gwinnett, DeKalb and Cobb counties said the state’s computer system crashed at times and was very slow, bogging down the process. Story Archive
10/28/2008 Poor design IN Vanderburgh County. Disruptions in the Internet and phone service at the Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library halted early voting at that site. Story Archive
10/28/2008 Ballot printing NC ESS Brunswick County. A poll worker at the Oak Island Recreation Center voting location put the paper in backward, causing the iVotronic touch screen not to print the individual records of votes cast on a majority of the polling machines. Story Archive
10/28/2008 Machine malfunction TX ESS Jefferson County. Vote-flipping from Obama to McCain on the iVotronic touch screen machine. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
10/28/2008 E-pollbook UT Summit County. An apparent computer malfunction informed poll workers that ballots couldn't be provided to several would-be voters at the Park City Library. Story Archive
10/28/2008 Machine malfunction WI ESS Dane County (Madison). Malfunctioning AutoMark ballot marker prevents a blind woman from casting her vote privately. First it displayed an error message. Then it ran out of ink and wouldn't print the ballot. The county's chapter of the National Federation of the Blind has received other calls about this same problem. Story Archive
10/27/2008 Voter intimidation NM Lawsuits were filed today in U.S. Federal District Court, charging New Mexico Republicans with criminal violations of the U.S. Voting Rights Act. The lawsuits stem from a series of intimidation attempts on new, minority voters in Albuquerque. Story Archive
10/27/2008 Machine malfunction TX Diebold El Paso County. Vote-flipping on the Diebold touch screen machine. Straight-party Democratic vote switched to all Republicans on the review screen. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
10/26/2008 Ballot display AR Jefferson County. Ballot mis-programming on the iVotronic touch screen machines caused Redfield and Altheimer voters not to be presented with all the races for which they were qualified to vote. Archive Story2 Archive2
10/26/2008 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Brazoria County. Vote-flipping on the eSlate electronic voting machines. Straight-party vote flipped the vote for president. In other cases, a straight-party vote didn't select the president. Story Archive

One voter selected straight-party Democratic, then selected Obama for President separately, and McCain was selected instead. Story2 Archive2

10/26/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Monongalia and Greenbrier Counties. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machines. From the article: "In recent days, at least 14 voters from Jackson, Putnam, Berkeley, Ohio, Monongalia and Greenbrier counties have told The Charleston Gazette that ES&S machines switched their votes from Democratic to Republican candidates. No one has contacted The Gazette to say a voting machine flipped Republican votes to Democratic candidates. In each case, county poll workers helped the voters correct their ballots. But several worried that others might not notice switched votes." Story Archive Story2 Archive2
10/25/2008 Paper ballots (late) CO Sequoia Denver. Sequoia said they mailed 11,000 more absentee ballots on October 16 than they actually did, an investigation into the missing ballots discovered. Sequoia promises to mail them out on Monday -- October 26, just 8 days before they must be turned in by voters. Story Archive
10/25/2008 Deceptive practices FL Reported to VotersUnite: While canvassing Broward County voters for the Obama campaign, many of us spoke with voters who had "already cast their ballots over the phone." Apparently they had been called and told that they had the option of casting their votes on the phone with the caller, and now that they had done so, had no need to go to the polls on election day. We gently informed them that this was not possible, gave them the number of the local registrar, and reported the incident to the authorities.
10/25/2008 Machine malfunction TN ESS Davidson County. An iVotronic touch screen malfunctioned and didn't let a voter see her ballot, but the poll worker said she had voted. "I hit the button to go to the ballot and there was a flash," she said, adding that the screen went blank, then returned to the main menu. "I didn't see the ballot to actually choose anything." Story Archive
10/24/2008 Provisional ballots FL Lee County. Poll workers told a woman that she could only vote a provisional ballot since an absentee ballot had been sent to her home in Connecticut, but she had not requested an absentee ballot and did not receive it. Her husband was allowed to vote. A poll worker told her "this had been happening to other people, too." Story Archive
10/24/2008 Ballot printing GA Gwinnett County. The oval on the absentee ballots is too dark and causes the scanners to tally incorrectly. The 10,000 returned ballots will be tallied by hand. The county is reprinting 19,000 ballots to send out for new requests. Story Archive
10/24/2008 Wrong ballot TN Sullivan County. multiple voters were given ballots for the wrong state House district during early voting. Story Archive
10/23/2008 Wrong ballot DC Sequoia A voter who lives in Ward 2 received a Ward 6 absentee ballot. This suggests an extensive problem, but officials don't know how extensive. Further, the Ward 6 ballot included a race for Ward 2 ANC commissioner, which should not have been on the Ward 6 ballot. Sequoia printed and mailed the ballots. Story Archive
10/23/2008 Ballot printing FL Polk County. Last week, Polk County sent out about 40,000 absentee ballots that did not include a nonpartisan statewide question. The county is sending out corrected ballots to those voters. Story Archive
10/23/2008 E-pollbook GA Diebold Fulton County. Electronic check-in poll books at the North Fulton Government Center and other county polling places lost their connection to the state's database, officials told CBS 46’s Joanna Massee. The malfunction created a big headache for election workers and long waits for voters. Story Archive
10/23/2008 Ballot printing SC Beaufort County. Absentee ballots didn't include necessary directions for voting in city and town council elections. Story Archive
10/23/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Berkeley County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen voting machines. Two voters in Berkeley County, West Virginia, reported that their votes for Obama were "switched" to McCain on iVotronic DRE machines, although both spotted the problem and were able to fix it after multiple tries. Story Archive

Update 10/23/08. More voters complain of vote-flipping from Obama to McCain. Story Archive

10/22/2008 Ballot printing FL Sarasota County. Election Supervisor omitted the State Senate District 23 race between Republican Nancy Detert and Democrat Morgan Bentley from absentee ballots sent out to voters. Neither campaign was informed by Dent's office and are still wondering how extensive the problem is. Detert said she had noticed her race was not included in the sample ballot she received and that a supporter had called her complaining about the omission. Dent's office is sending out letters to the affected voters, along with a complete ballot. Story Archive
10/22/2008 Machine malfunction SC ESS Beaufort County. Votes for Bluffton Town Council candidates did not register on the review screen of the iVotronic touch screen voting machines. Even with help from poll workers, the votes didn't register. Some voters were able to cast those votes on paper ballots. Story Archive

Update 10/23/08. Officials say the machines are working properly, that in multivote contests (vote for more than one), the review screen is only supposed to show the number of candidates chosen, not their names. County Elections and Voter Registration director Agnes Garvin attributed questions about the machines to a software limitation that affects the screen voters use to review their choices before actually casting their ballot. [Editor - A voter told us he contacted the SoS, who said this is not the way the iVotronics are supposed to operate.] Story Archive

10/22/2008 Machine malfunction TN Hart InterCivic Knox County. The eSlate electronic voting machine displays only the first three letters of the selected candidate's name on the review screen. So, people voting for Obama found that the review screen said they voted for "Electors for BAR". This is particularly egregious since another candidate for president is Bob Barr, so voters aren't sure who they are voting for. Story Archive
10/22/2008 Machine malfunction TN ESS Decatur County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machine. At least three voters attempted to vote for McCain for president and saw the light for Obama light up instead. Some officials suggest that the viewing angle of the screen makes it difficult to know where voters are touching. Story Archive

Update 10-25-08. Reports from local investigators to VotersUnite indicate that this story is a hoax and that the county registrar concurs.

10/22/2008 Machine malfunction UT Diebold Washington County. Diebold/Premier touch screens weren't working. Voters were given paper ballots until the machines were repaired within a couple of hours. Story Archive
10/21/2008 Too few ballots CO Sequoia Denver. Some voters who showed up at Manual High School after the polls were open for one hour were told there weren't enough ballots. One of the voters said she went back to Manual High early in the evening, "and they still didn't have the right ballots." She said an election judge told her they were going to have to get some printed. Story Archive
Records: 201-240 of 1280
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