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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
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction TN ESS Williamson County. Only two ES&S iVotronic touch screens worked in Grassland precinct. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction TN ESS Hawkins County. ES&S iVotronic touch screens didn't work. Most of the voting machines were down until noon, according to Peggy Fleenor, the county's election administrator. The problem resulted after officials ran a program before opening to clear the vote totals to zero. Story Archive
11/5/2006 Machine malfunction FL ESS Sarasota County. Votes for Jennings, Democratic candidate for 13th Congressional District, fail to appear on the review screen of the ES&S iVotronic touch screens in several polling places. (A variation on the vote-switching seen in other States and other Florida Counties). Voters are able to return to the selection screen and correct the error, but there are questions about whether some votes for Jennings have been lost. Story Archive
11/5/2006 Machine malfunction SC ESS Vote-switching on the ES&S iVotronics. Computer scientist's votes for one candidate were switched to another on the review screen. Story
11/4/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Williamson County. ES&S iVotronic failed pre-election testing when straight party selections did not record a vote for Precinct 3 Commissioner. The same problem occurred at the beginning of early voting, but it was corrected and no votes were affected, Stacy said. Story Archive
11/3/2006 Machine malfunction SC ESS Charleston County. ES&S iVotronics fail to allow voters to review their choices in contests where they can vote for more than one candidate -- in violation of HAVA. Story Archive
11/2/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Washington County. ES&S iVotronic screen does not match paper printout. Clerk Karen Combs Pritchard said that, for the first two days of early voting in that county, the machines' paper printouts listed the wrong district number for a state representative candidate, although the number appeared correctly on the screen. Story Archive
11/2/2006 Machine malfunction KS ESS Sedgwick County. ES&S iVotronic touch screen voting machines are broken down at all sites except two. Story
11/1/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Pulaski County. Vote-switching from Republican to Democrat SoS candidate on ES&S iVotronic. “I had a voter from Jacksonville call me to say that he and his wife tried to vote for me (on different machines) four different times but each time they selected my name, my opponent’s name popped up on the touch screen,” says Jim Lagrone, Republican candidate for Arkansas Secretary of State. “On the fifth try, it finally worked for both of them." Story
10/31/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Garland County. Ballot programming error on the ES&S Personal Electronic Ballot (PEB) which brings up a voter's ballot on the iVotronic. "When we got to the point of trying to do our three amendments, everything just scrambled," said Garland County Election Commissioner Charles Tapp. A similar problem occurred in Sebastian County. Both these counties have chosen to do their own ballot programming. A similar problem also occurred in Benton County, which has ES&S do the ballot programming. Story Archive
10/28/2006 Machine malfunction FL ESS Broward County. Vote-switching to Republicans by the ES&S iVotronics. "Debra A. Reed voted with her boss on Wednesday at African-American Research Library and Cultural Center near Fort Lauderdale. Her vote went smoothly, but boss Gary Rudolf called her over to look at what was happening on his machine. He touched the screen for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis, a Democrat, but the review screen repeatedly registered the Republican, Charlie Crist." Story Archive
10/28/2006 Machine malfunction FL ESS Miami-Dade County. Vote-switching to Republicans by ES&S iVotronics. "Mauricio Raponi wanted to vote for Democrats across the board at the Lemon City Library in Miami on Thursday. But each time he hit the button next to the candidate, the Republican choice showed up. Raponi, 53, persevered until the machine worked. Then he alerted a poll worker." Story Archive
10/28/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Jefferson County. Vote-switching from Democrat to Republican on the ES&S iVotronic screen. "Friday night, KFDM reported about people who had cast straight Democratic ticket ballots, but the touch-screen machines indicated they had voted a straight Republican ticket. ... Saturday, KFDM spoke to another voter who says it's not just happening with straight ticket voting, he says it's happening on individual races as well, Jerry Stopher told us when he voted for a Democrat, the Republican's name was highlighted." Story Archive
10/27/2006 Machine malfunction FL ESS Broward County - Vote-switching to Republicans by ES&S iVotronic. "After casting her votes, Marek, a Democrat, was surprised to see name of Charlie Crist -- the Republican candidate for governor -- on the review screen. ... She said poll workers told her the machine had been problematic before, but that they had reprogrammed it, a process they repeated after speaking to her." Story Archive
10/26/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Washington County. Ballot programming error. The voter-verifiable paper record printed the wrong district for the voter's choice. The candidate himself noticed that his paper record said he was in District 87, rather than the correct District 92. ES&S is reprogramming the ballots so the record will print the correct District. Election Coordinator Nancy Varvil said, "This never affected the tallying of the votes. The fix just puts the correct district on the audit trail.” Story Archive
10/25/2006 Machine malfunction FL ESS Broward County. Some ES&S iVotronic touch screen machines "stopped working briefly and had to be restarted because of high-volume use, Cooney said. No votes were lost." Mary Cooney is the spokeswoman for the Supervisor of Elections.
''When some voters went to touch a choice for a precinct or candidate we would have to stop the voter, start again and then it would be fine,'' Cooney said. ``It hasn't slowed anyone down.'' Story Archive
10/20/2006 Ballot printing OH ESS Summit County. A printer certified by ES&S sent 22,000 misprinted ballots to the county. Already late, the delay will make absentee voters wait even longer for their ballots. "When the ballots arrived at the Summit County Board of Elections on Thursday, staff members discovered the second page was fraught with typographical errors." No QA at the printer, it appears. Story Archive

10/21/06 - Ballot are supposed to arrive today. The same typographical errors were found on the poll-site ballots, so they will be reprinted, too. A "computer problem" cause the printing error. Story Archive

9/19/2006 Poor design AR ESS Sebastian County Clerk says the ES&S iVotronic machines, purported to be accessible to people with disabilities, aren't. The new electronic iVotronics voting machines supplied by Election Systems and Software are not user-friendly for the visually or hearing impaired, she said. During the primary election, she said, a visually impaired voter became frustrated when he had difficulty following the lengthy and complicated screen navigation instructions. Story Archive
6/13/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Marion County. A Marion County Election commissioner said officials had a problem with some iVotronic electronic voting machines that did not recognize when 7:30 p.m., the time to close the polls, arrived. The machines had to be forced to shut down Story Archive
5/23/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Phillips County. ES&S printed barcodes incorrectly on paper ballots. Choices for the county are to have ES&S reprogram the Personal Electronic Ballot (PEB cartridge) to read the existing bar codes, or have them reprint the ballots. ES&S did not send the chips that could have read the ballots. Story Archive
5/16/2006 Machine malfunction PA ESS Centre County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic not caused by calibration. The calibration of a touch-screen voting machine in a State College precinct was checked and found to be working properly after a voter had difficulty, McKinley said. Story Archive
5/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Pulaski, Phillips, and Lonoke counties. ES&S misprogrammed the optical scanners, and they didn't count correctly. Election workers in 10 precincts manually counted the ballots. Story Archive
5/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Cleburne County. ES&S misprogrammed the iVotronic touch screens, and results were delayed. Story Archive
5/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Washington County. Election workers were unable to close the iVotronic touch screens. Story Archive
5/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Carroll County. ES&S provided incorrect ballot proofs. "All justice of the peace and constable races were lumped together and there was a disregard for ballot positions in other races." The county voted to have the ballots printed by a local printer.

Across the state, ES&S failed to provide ballots and programming on time. Many counties experienced programming problems and other problems with the optical scanners and iVotronic touch screens. Story Archive Story2 Archive2

11/8/2005 Ballot printing OH ESS Sandusky County. M100 optical scanners used by the Sandusky County Board of Elections refused to accept hundreds of ballots because of a printing error. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction PA ESS Cumberland County. Ballot misprogramming error. ES&S made yet another ballot programming error on the optical scanners, causing a miscount and a possible reversal of the initial election results. Ballots will be scanned again, and they will be hand counted. Story Archive

Update: In the initial count, Republican Keating beat Democrat Rhoades, 1,650 to 1,468. The second machine count and the hand count both showed Rhoades winning by 2 votes - 1,703 to 1,701. Story Archive

11/8/2005 Machine malfunction SC ESS Georgetown County. Ballot programming error. Touch screen machines weren't programmed with the legally required straight-party voting. The problem was discovered during testing, but not until after several voters had voted absentee. (ES&S iVotronic touch screen.) Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction SC ESS Georgetown County. Candidates' names did not appear on the review screen of the ES&S iVotronic touch screen. "Our voters had no confirmation for whom they had voted." State officials said this is just the way the machines operate. (In 2006, this operation will be a violation of federal law - HAVA). Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction TX ESS Hidalgo County. New ES&S iVotronic voting machines, outfitted for visually impaired voters, didn't work. "Election Systems & Software, the company that manufactures the machines, spent the day at the Hidalgo County Elections Building trying to fix the software problem, [Hidalgo County Elections Coordinator Angie ] Garcia said, but had not managed to get the machines up and running by the time polls closed. Overall, though, Garcia said she thought the machines functioned smoothly." [What???] Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction TX ESS Matagorda County. The county's brand new ES&S optical scanner quit working after processing early ballots. The technician wasn't able to fix it, so ES&S had to fly a new one in for the county to certify and use. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Poor design TX ESS Witchita County. ES&S iVotronic touch screen machines weren't ready to vote on when the polls opened. At the end of the day, ES&S technicians had to help retrieve the results. The official explanation is that the machines were zeroed out properly in the morning, so the results couldn't be retrieved in the normal way. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction VA ESS Elizabeth City. ES&S iVotronic touch screen machines switched votes on the screen. In early voting, 42 blank ballots were recorded in this one-contest election. On election day 18 blank ballots were recorded. The margin of victory was 14 votes, 17 after provisional were counted. No meaningful recount is possible on the paperless machines. Story1 Story2 Archive2
5/7/2005 Machine malfunction FL ESS Miami-Dade County, Florida. A study of poll books and vote totals has revealed major discrepancies. 35% of the polling places had more votes than voters or lost votes. Story Archive
3/12/2005 Machine malfunction WI ESS Taylor County. About 27 percent of all votes cast in Medford during the Nov. 2 election were not counted because an ES&S programmer improperly set the optical scanner that records the ballots, officials say. Story Archive
12/6/2004 Canvass anomalies SC ESS In Sumter County 111 more voters cast ballots than signed in on poll books and that 1,055 more ballots were cast than have been accounted for. This discrepancy could cause a state Senate race to be decided by the Senate instead of the people. Story Archive
12/1/2004 Machine malfunction WA ESS Skagit County. An investigation of anomalies in the recount of the governor's race led county officials to discover, from ES&S, that a vote is counted incorrectly in approximately 1 in 10,000 ovals read by their high-speed optical scanner. Since the governor's race had four options, the estimate is that 1 in 2500 votes was counted incorrectly. Votes counted incorrectly in Skagit County alone amount to half the margin between the top two candidates. Story Archive
11/23/2004 Machine malfunction IN ESS Vanderburgh County. At several polling places, the number of people signing in to vote Nov. 2 exceeded the vote totals, while at other places votes outnumbered signatures. The county uses ES&S iVotronic touch screen machines. Story Archive
11/16/2004 Machine malfunction IN ESS Brown County, which uses ES&S optical scanners, considered recounting votes in one precinct because the tally tape produced by the scanner showed 63 unvoted ballots. However, the law doesn't allow the election board to reject certification by the precinct board, so they didn't do anything. Story Archive
11/16/2004 Machine malfunction IN ESS Carroll County, with optical scanners from Election Systems and Software (ES&S), had to handcount county council votes in its 19 precincts on election day. The Indiana Election Commission determined the computer program didn't comply with Indiana law for that office, Carroll County Clerk Laura Sterrett said. Story Archive
Records: 201-240 of 279
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