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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
8/26/2008 Registration error AL Tuscaloosa County. A coding error by the Board of Registrars caused some Northport voters to be left off the master list at their polling locations, said City Clerk Rosemary Nichols. Some voters were turned away. Others cast provisional ballots. Story Archive
8/25/2008 Machine malfunction MI ESS Plymouth Township in Wayne County. The battery on a memory card in one precinct failed, forcing those votes to be recounted. There are four precints in the township; this means 25% of the memory cards failed. Story2 Archive2
8/12/2008 Machine malfunction CO Diebold El Paso County. At the Holmes Middle School's Polls, 2455 Mesa Rd, Colorado Springs, in Precinct's 147, 197, and 250 when the Judges were doing the closing tallies on the Diebold Touch Screen TSx, the unit locked-up when the supervisors card was inserted. The screen read "NOT AUTHORIZED", and election judges could not print a tape of the tallies to post on the entrance door as required by law/code. Further, they were not able to balance the voter record books that all the judges have to verify & sign. When the supervisor called the election clerk's office for what to do, they were told to just pack-up the Diebold TSx and bring it to drop-off point as this was happening with many of the units around the county. Reported by Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., F.G.S.A., President, Equal Justice Foundation
8/12/2008 Machine malfunction FL Palm Beach County. Early voting was plagued Monday by a sluggish state computer system used to verify voters' identities. At some voting sites in Palm Beach County, delays were nearly an hour and so severe that poll workers warned prospective voters it might be easier for them to return to vote another day. Officials say the problem was resolved Monday night. Story Archive
8/7/2008 Canvass anomaly KS Shawnee County. An entry error in the vote database caused 4,446 votes not to be uploaded from 42 of the 198 precincts. The error was noticed by Election commissioner Elizabeth Ensley as she reviewed the precinct data. Staff corrected the error. Story Archive
8/7/2008 Wrong ballot KS ESS Ellis County. At least four voters selected the wrong ballot on the iVotronic e-voting machine and were not offered a choice for the $3.5 million bond issue. The issue lost by five votes. Poll workers are supposed to assist the voter in selecting the correct ballot, but failed to do so. It is also possible that some voters who were not qualified to vote on the measure chose the ballot with the measure on it. The county clerk said nine provisional ballots were cast at the Victoria polling site, but she could not confirm if all were eligible to vote on the bond issue. . Story Archive
8/7/2008 Malfeasance MO Jackson County. Poll workers illegally required a voter to show photo ID. He had previously confirmed confirmed with the election board that the ID he had was acceptable. When he persisted, the poll workers had him arrested. The charge: "Did knowingly cause a disturbance/disorderly conduct to wit: acts in a violent or tumultuous manner toward another, placing such person(s) in fear of safety by refusing to show proper I. D. when voting" Story Story2 Archive2
8/7/2008 Wrong ballot MO Sequoia Cole County. 144 voters at in Jefferson City's Fourth Ward, were given and voted on a Western District ballot, not an Eastern District ballot. The margin of victory in the Republican Primary for Cole County Eastern District Commissioner was only 7 votes, and the election may have to be redone. Story Archive
8/5/2008 Machine malfunction MO Sequoia Greene County. The accessibility features of the Sequoia Edge e-voting machine failed to work, preventing a blind woman from being able to vote independently as required by HAVA. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
7/10/2008 Poor design TX Hart Intercivic The Democratic party is charging that the eSlate electronic voting machines don’t count some votes when voters cast a straight-party ballot. A spokesman for the party said voters have selected the straight party option, and then selects the candidate again in an “emphasis vote,” which really deselects the candidate on the ballot. According to a release by the Texas Democratic Party, they believe the problem has changed the outcome of at least one Texas election. Story Archive Story2
6/27/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Palm Beach County. About 700 votes for three precincts (14% of the total votes) weren't counted on election night after Tuesday's special city commission election. According to elections office spokeswoman Kathy Adams, the cartridges from those precincts hadn't been counted on election night when all the cartridges were brought to a tabulation center to be "read" by vote-counting machines. She said the office didn't know why the cartridges weren't read properly the first time. She said it was possible that one reader wasn't working properly and that all three cartridges were read by that reader. Story Archive
Update June 18. Recounting the cartridges added 707 votes, but did not change any outcomes. Story2 Archive2
6/22/2008 Canvass anomalies NM ES&S Cibola County. 182 ballots were missing from the primary election in two precincts. The State Board of Elections appears to be poised to certify the election anyway. Story Archive
6/15/2008 Canvass anomalies CT Diebold Bridgeport. 105 more ballots were counted in the mayoral race than the number of voters who signed in at the polls. 11 precincts had more votes than voters. Story Archive
6/10/2008 Canvass anomalies AL Bullock County. Absentee ballots turn two candidates' precinct wins into losses. In District 16 Commissioner's race, Clarence Blue received 271 more votes than Adams in the precincts, but Adams received 736 absentee votes to 76 for Blue, giving Adams a 389 vote victory. Adams admitted that he and his relatives "helped" some people apply for absentee ballots.
In the District 4 Commissioner's race, Jackson recieved 311 more votes in the precincts, but Ellis received 592 absentee votes to 204 for Jackson, giving Ellis the victory. Story Archive
6/5/2008 Canvass anomalies AL Russell County. District Attorney Ken Davis has subpoenaed absentee ballots from Tuesday's primary election after receiving complaints about the balloting. The focus of most discussion was the Russell County Commission District 4 race, in which former Commissioner Ronnie Reed scored a 100-vote victory with 80 percent of his vote total in absentee ballots. His first term was aborted by an Alabama Supreme Court ruling after he failed to regain his political rights, which were lost because of his 1978 burglary conviction in Muscogee County. Reed had gone door to door passing out flyers and collecting absentee ballots from people who were sick or otherwise unable to get to the polls. Story Archive
6/5/2008 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia San Bernadino County. The vote-counting software in the central tabulator counts precincts incorrectly. Sequoia has known about the defect for at least a year, but has not yet corrected it. Riverside County's registrar also has known about the problem and has developed workarounds to deal with it. Story Archive
6/5/2008 Machine malfunction CA Diebold Santa Cruz County. Three touch screen e-voting machines broke down and had to be replaced. Story Archive
6/5/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Monmouth County. The computer in Middletown malfunctioned and wouldn't read the results cartridges from the AVC Advantage e-voting machines. The cartridges were transported to the office in Freehold. Story Archive
6/4/2008 Machine malfunction CA ESS Los Angeles County. Four of twelve votes (33% error rate) were printed on the ballot incorrectly by the InkaVote Plus ballot-marking device, intended for use by people who are blind. In addition, the other InkaVote Plus at the polling place was not working, and one of the scanners was inoperable all day. Neither machine was replaced or repaired. Story1 Story2
6/4/2008 (Other) FL Pinellas County. Two malicious software programs (worms) were found on the central tabulation system. "The two bugs, known as Flush.G and W32.SillyDC, work in tandem and go from computer to computer redirecting Internet browsers to sites the user hasn't selected, officials said. The worm is carried through removable media like USB drives, is easily detected and, officials say, rather harmless." The worms have been removed, and the Secretary of State has released a memo (pdf) urging election supervisors across Florida to take steps, including the use of antivirus software, to protect their voting systems from corruption. Story Archive
6/4/2008 Machine malfunction NM ESS Curry County. After discovering suspect results, election officials know there is a problem in the tabulation software, but they don't know what it is. Software technicians will take the device that reads memory cards back to their company to evaluate. Story Archive

Update: A software glitch, [County Election Manager Coni Jo ] Lyman said, caused precinct totals in an early voting location to be counted more than once. The problem with a memory card used to store results was difficult to identify, Lyman said, because not every precinct total doubled. “One of the early voting locations, it has put sporadic precincts in twice,” Lyman said. “It would accept results, but said it didn’t scan. You would re-scan, and it would accept that too.” Story2 Archive2

6/3/2008 Registration errors NM ESS Problems with the state's computer system is hampering counties' as they verify voters and determine where the voters' polling places are located.-- Roosevelt, Cibola, Sandoval, and Lea Counties, in particular. However, Chaves and Santa Fe Counties, which have backups, are not affected. Story Archive
5/30/2008 Machine malfunction CT Diebold New Milford & Gaylordsville. A memory card malfunctioned in New Milford. The nearest replacement card was three hours away, so the 426 optical scan ballots were hand counted. In Gaylordsville, the new optical scanner wouldn't accept ballots. Rebooting corrected the problem. Story Archive
5/30/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi, who discovered the Sequoia Advantage vote discrepancies during the primary election, has now found that the Sequoia system won't report votes for Carlos Cedeño, a freeholder candidate. At first Sequoia said it was because of the tilde in his name. Then, when the county tried entering it without the tilde and it still didn't work, they said it was because his candidate number was 999. Story Archive
5/24/2008 Machine malfunction AR ESS Faulkner County. Votes cast in the Constable contest were reported for candidates in the District 45 contest. The commission feels confident, by looking at the end-of-day paper record, that the votes have now been reassigned correctly. Correcting the count changed the outcome of the Constable contest. The county uses iVotronic e-voting machines and a central count scanner. Story Archive

Update 5/29/08. The "voter-verifiable paper trail" did NOT match the electronic count. The District 45 race (the first race on the paper ballot - pdf) was missing from the screen ballots on the East Cadron B voting precinct. Paper ballots were provided for that race in that precinct prior to the election. But the machines recorded Constable votes for the District 45.

"We assumed, erroneously, that it would not record that race since it was not on the ballot," [Faulkner County Election Commissioner Bruce Haggard ] said, adding that the votes for the constable race were later found to have recorded accurately on the voter-verifiable paper trail and therefore would not have appeared erroneous to voters either. Story Archive Story2

5/22/2008 Machine malfunction KY Hart Bullitt County. eSlate e-voting machines, used by voters with disabilities and others, "had trouble reading memory cards." Story Archive
5/21/2008 Machine malfunction AR ESS White County. When early voting data was uploaded from the iVotronic touch screen to the Unity election management system, the system doubled them. The problem was detected when one candidate noticed that the totals in his race were nearly double the total votes in a comparable contest. The county did a "recount" and found that totals were different in every contest. The results of one contest was overturned by the recount. Story Archive

A programming error with time settings caused a domino effect of further complications, names were left off ballots, and the machine that tabulates the absentee ballots malfunctioned just as the polls closed at 7:30 p.m. “I don't exactly what that problem is,” said Thomas, one of the election commissioners. “There is some kind of printer head or something that would not allow the ballots to be read.” Story Archive

The vendor's defense: ES&S said the problems were not related to hardware malfunction but were related to programming. “Our agreement with White County is limited to hardware,” ES&S spokeswoman Amanda Brown said. “It does not include support services or programming.” Thorough explanation of the four problems Archive

5/21/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Wayne County. Voters had trouble getting the iVotronic touch screen machines to register their votes. If they did not press in the center of the box, the corresponding candidate wouldn't be selected. County officials are also disappointed by the slow operation of the voter-verifiable paper record printers, which print every selection the voters make rather than just a summary of the ballot for them to review. Story Archive

Update 5/22/08. More problems with the touch screens were reported. "Wayne County Commissioner Rick Wellman has filed a complaint with the Secretary of State's Office claiming that the county's touch-screen voting machines malfunctioned during the primary election." In addition, Wayne County Clerk Bob Pasley, who won the a County Commissioner's seat, admitted to opening one of the machines at the precinct in order to calibrate it. (Editor's note, calibration should not require opening the machine.). Story Archive

5/19/2008 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Cass County. Flawed ballot programming from Hart InterCivic allowed voters who were not in District 1 to vote for the District 1 city council seat. Although only 41 residents of District 1 were signed in to vote, the number of combined votes received by the District 1 candidates was 198. The only way to remedy the situation is to have one of the candidates file suit to have the election overturned. Story Archive
5/18/2008 Machine malfunction MA Diebold Abington in Plymouth County. Out of 1255 votes cast in a city proposition, the scanner counted 4 votes wrong. The scanned count showed the proposition won by a margin of one vote; the hand recount showed the real margin of 5 votes for the proposition. The town clerk said the machine jammed a few times while scanning, suggesting that was the cause of the errors. She will have the machines serviced, but apparently no other investigation will be done. Story Archive
5/15/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Wood County. Printers on several iVotronic e-voting machines had to be repaired or replaced. "There were also some electronic issues with some of the voting machines that caused a delay in tallying the votes." Story Archive
5/14/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Onslow County. About 4,000 (Model 100) optical scan ballots from early voting -- apparently uploaded correctly -- weren't counted by the tabulation software. A state representative noticed the low number of votes from some one-stop voting sites and the county investigated. Rose Whitehurst, director of the Onslow County Board of Elections, said what happened was that when she uploaded the votes, she thought the votes were counted.

"When we started looking over the report, we found that the votes didn't all go into the software," she said. "We started doing an audit and ran through the information (and found that) both one-stops weren't counted." Story Archive

5/13/2008 Too few ballots WV ESS Hancock County. iVotronic e-voting machines ran out of paper for the voter-verifiable paper record. Some voters waited up to two hours for replacement rolls to arrive. Others left without voting. Story Archive The paper rolls are supposed to print about 250 ballots, but some only had 90 or 100 before they were full. In one case the printer wasn't working at all. Story2 Archive2
5/9/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Mecklenburg County. About 2,400 absentee ballots were counted twice by the ES&S Unity tabulation system. Correcting the inaccuracy didn't change any outcomes. Story Archive
5/9/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Wake County. About 37,000 optical scan ballots were counted twice by the ES&S Unity tabulation system. The early voting and absentee ballots were counted as part of the individual voters precincts and again as a whole. Correcting the inaccuracy didn't change any outcomes. Story Archive
5/6/2008 Ballot printing AR ESS Washington County. Candidates in five district judges' races were mistakenly left off 27,000 Washington County ballots. The races are uncontested, but each candidate must receive at least one vote to be elected. A small batch was reprinted correctly for early voting for the May 20 primary. Story Archive
5/6/2008 Machine malfunction IN ESS Marion County. Two polling places opened without Democratic ballots, and the touch screen available as a backup in one of them failed. Ballots were printed and delivered before 8:00. Story Archive
5/6/2008 Machine malfunction IN Diebold Tippecanoe County. Two of the voter access card encoders at the Dayton vote center froze up and had to be replaced. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
5/6/2008 Machine malfunction IN Diebold Tippecanoe County. An internet connection problem caused voter check-in to be done briefly by telephone. Story Archive
5/6/2008 Too few ballots IN Marion County. Two polling places opened without Democratic ballots, and the touch screen available as a backup in one of them failed. Ballots were printed and delivered before 8:00. Story Archive
Records: 281-320 of 1280
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