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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
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
2/7/2008 Machine malfunction MA Diebold Taunton in Bristol County. A memory card problem in Ward 4 required votes from that ward to be counted and recorded separately. City Clerk Rosie Blackwell said she and her associates had to improvise and create a new form to specifically accommodate Ward 4 returns. Story Archive
2/7/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Essex County. Technical and human errors occurred here and throughout the state. Essex County Superintendent of Elections Carmine Casciano said that 12 out of about 650 Sequoia Advantage electronic voting machines were replaced on Tuesday. Four machines were replaced due to Board of Election workers mistakenly turning off the machines and thereby deactivating them. In Montclair, two Sequoia e-voting machines had to be replaced due to electronic errors.

Other technical issues occurred, but Casciano called them “nothing significant” and said technicians soon repaired them. One example: in St. Luke’s Episcopal Church’s polling station the button for Republican candidate Mitt Romney did not work on an electronic machine. Story Archive

2/7/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Warren County. A programming error forced about 900 Warren County voters to use emergency ballots after a handful of machines that electronically encode ballots onto cards stopped working. Story Archive
2/6/2008 Machine malfunction AR ESS Benton County. iVotronic e-voting machines failed to start up at several polling places. Voters used paper ballots. Many were working by 2 pm. At one precinct, the screen was still black. Story Archive

The county also had problems closing the machines at the end of day to extract results. And "Poor-quality paper rolls and humidity caused machines to jam." Story Archive

2/6/2008 Machine malfunction AR ESS Faulkner County. iVotronic e-voting machine printer fails. Conway's Lisa Burks had just cast her vote using the touch-screen machine, but when she reviewed the printout she saw "a short horizontal line and long vertical line. The machine, Burks said, picked the wrong voter to mess with. As the founder and former national coordinator of the National Coalition for Verified Voting, Burks said, she lobbied against the state's adoption of electronic voting machines."

Other troubles include a machine that would not start up. Story Archive

2/6/2008 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Santa Clara County. More than a dozen people trying to vote in the Democratic primary at one polling station were almost turned away without casting ballots after paper ballots ran out and the only electronic voting machine at the polling place malfunctioned. An independent election observer and a software engineer waiting to vote fixed the touch-screen machine for the 13 people waiting to cast their ballots. (The machine had been decertified by the Secretary of State for all but voters with disabilities.) Story Archive Story2 Archive2
2/6/2008 Machine malfunction CA Diebold San Luis Obispo County. Elections officials reported a handful of glitches at polling places in Nipomo, Arroyo Grande, Creston, Atascadero, and Paso Robles. County Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald said possible faulty memory cards forced staffers to remove six of the county’s 78 voting machines early Tuesday. Story Archive
2/6/2008 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Riverside County. At times, one or two of the six ballot-counting machines in the Moreno Valley office broke down. At most times, one could not operate, delaying the final results. On average, officials were able to count about 15,000 ballots an hour. "The machines were expected to count about 400 ballots a minute. Since the polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday, they've averaged about 36 per minute." Story Archive Story2 Archive2
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
2/5/2008 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia San Francisco. The Sequoia touchscreen froze while a voter was attempting to vote. After he inserted the plastic activation card into the machine, "Nothing moved--neither touching nor talking to the machine worked. What's worse, the card was now stuck in the machine as there was no eject button or function. The clerk who handed me the card was confounded. ... [After consulting another clerk,] the clerk then proceeded to lift the back of my voting machine up, slapping it hard so that it must have told it to reboot itself. ... After the two-minute reboot, voting was simple." Story Archive
2/5/2008 Machine malfunction CT Diebold Manchester, County. An optical scanning machine did not work and voters had to put their ballots in an auxiliary slot to be counted later. Story Archive
2/5/2008 Machine malfunction CT Diebold Six optical scan machines used in the state had to be replaced with back-ups, three due to improper programming. Story Archive
2/5/2008 Machine malfunction CT A "system crash" prevented officials from providing final registration numbers just before the primary. 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
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

2/5/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Hoboken. Both Advantage electronic voting machines broke down at one polling place, delaying voting. About a dozen voters were turned away. Story Archive Story2
2/5/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Avante Warren County. Avante e-voting machines repeatedly gave voters "malfunctioning errors." Some polling places switched to paper ballots. Story Archive
2/5/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Salem County. Votes flipped from Obama to Clinton on the AVC Edge touch screen. Story
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
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
1/29/2008 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
1/26/2008 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
1/23/2008 Machine malfunction CA ESS Sacramento County. M100 optical scanners malfunctioned in many ways during the pre-election "logic and accuracy" tests.

"With some machines, the ballot could not be loaded at all, or only accepted if loaded in backwards. In some cases, Democratic votes were not being recorded by a scanner. With other machines, it would be Republican votes that were not recorded. And with some machines, there were no problems at all. With the election within two weeks, [County Registrar of Voters Jill] Lavine decided to forego using the scanners altogether, and count the ballots centrally at the county election office. " Story

1/22/2008 Machine malfunction SC ESS Florence County. As in Horry County, the iVotronic touch screen machines were set to close on the wrong date and would not report the results until they were reprogrammed for the correct date. Story Archive
1/20/2008 Machine malfunction SC ESS Horry County. iVotronics touch screen machines refused to print results at the end of the day. "The machines' pre-programmed poll-closing time was incorrect, and technicians had to follow a multi-step procedure to manually shut them off before counting could begin. The closing date for the machines was set for Jan. 26, the date of the Democratic primary, instead of Saturday night." Story Archive
1/19/2008 Machine malfunction SC ESS Horry County. iVotronic touch screen machines. "Poll workers in Horry County tell CNN voting machines have been down since polls opened Saturday morning throughout the county — the machines are not reading an activation card." All 100 precincts in the county have been affected. Some voters have been turned away when paper ballots ran out. Story Archive Story2 Archive2 Story3
1/12/2008 Machine malfunction NH Diebold Hanover, Exeter, Nashua, and Manchester Counties. Problems with the Premier (Diebold) optical scan machines reported by the officials in all four counties. Break down of the visor that guides write-in votes into the right bin, and memory card failures. Story
11/28/2007 Machine malfunction OH Cuyahoga County. 20% of the voter-verified paper records were unreadable and could not be used in the recount required by the narrow margin of victory in nine races. County officials reprinted the paper records from memory cards. This means that 20% of the recounted ballots were not verified by voters. Story Archive

A reminder: A study commissioned by the same county to study the 2006 primary election records showed discrepancies -- in 72.5% of the vote centers -- between voter-verified paper totals and electronic records on the memory cards. Report review

11/12/2007 Machine malfunction CT Diebold East Haven. A hand recounted, required because of the slim margin in the mayoral race, showed about a 40 vote discrepancy from the optical scanner count (out of about 8,000 ballots cast). Compounding the issue is the fact that there were over 100 ballots more than voters who signed in to vote. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
11/12/2007 Machine malfunction TX ESS Wharton County. The voting machine, not voter error, not a calibration problem, switched votes.

When Jim Welch voted last Tuesday, he watched as the voting machine changed the vote he'd entered a few moments earlier. "What Welch witnessed was votes that registered CORRECTLY when he touched the screen, switching later to a different vote choice, when he was almost finished voting the full page.

"Welch was stunned to see a correctly marked vote take on a life of its own, hopping over to a different spot while he voted on other items. He called an elections worker over to show him the problem. The elections worker helped him re-vote the ballot, and both men watched as the vote registered correctly, but later spontaneously altered to shift to another ballot choice." Story

11/8/2007 Machine malfunction IN Microvote LaPorte County. Microvote Infinity electronic voting machines were programmed with the wrong date and did not start up at five polling places. Technicians corrected the problems by 7:30 am. Story Archive
Records: 201-240 of 616
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