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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
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction NJ Voting machine problem in Princeton. A Princeton polling place had to go without one of its four voting machines for just over two hours. Story
4/18/2006 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia I was running for School Board in Pequannock Township.

Due to mistaken programming, the light next to my name turned off when someone voted for a person for the next office. When someone pushed my button again the light came on, but now the vote was removed!

This was true in all machines in the township.

I lost the election, but was it because of this light turning off and what people did next to turn it back on? I do not even know if my vote for myself counted!

The will of the voters can never be determined, no paper trail, no recount possible.

- Bob Friedman
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Montclair. Three Sequoia voting machines were not working when the polls opened. Voters had to vote provisional ballots. One was replaced. The other two were eventually started. Story
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Middlesex, Hudson, Camden, Passaic and Union Counties. Sequoia Advantage voting machines are pre-voted for Democratic incumbent Bob Menendez. Republicans are having trouble changing the selection. Attorney General is investigating. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Camden and Essex Counties. Undefined problems with 30 of the 700 Sequoia Advantage e-voting machines in Camden County. 25 of 600 didn't work properly in Essex County. Story Archive
11/10/2006 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Ocean County. Votes from one Sequoia Advantage memory cartridge were counted twice "and some were also added to vote totals for the U.S. Senate, county freeholder and county sheriff races in Lakewood." The problems, officials said, all stemmed from a fault in computer software provided by Sequoia Voting Systems." Story Archive
11/14/2006 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Ocean County. Software "glitches" caused votes to be counted twice. "The voting machines appear to have properly recorded votes, but summary reports sent to the county were in error." Officials suggest that the Sequoia software didn't prevent the system from reading results from some machines twice, but they cannot explain how votes from one district were transferred to summary reports in another. Story Archive

11-16-06 update County election officials suspect a software update from Sequoia came with a fault that doubled the count of about 150 ballots cast on a single Barnegat machine, then added 75 votes from that unit to a vote tally in a Lakewood district. "It's not in the machine. It's in the software that tallies the votes," said Gilmore, chairman of the county election board. Story Archive

11/15/2006 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Essex County. 24 Sequoia Advantage e-voting machines malfunctioned and were unable to be used in the election. 14 will have to be replaced because of circuit problems. Six other machines experienced switch problems on election day and were repaired in the field by technicians. One of three machines in West Orange broke down for an hour, "but a technician came to the site and showed poll workers how to fix the problem themselves, in case it were to happen again." Story Archive
12/2/2006 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Passaic County. Transferred totals don't match machine totals. "As 2006 election returns were electronically transferred from voting districts to the clerk's office, two voting districts had tallies that did not match the voting totals recorded by the machines, [Passaic County Clerk Karen] Brown said." Story
11/6/2007 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Mercer County. Seven of the county's 257 Sequoia Advantage machines broke down during the election. It is unknown whether votes were recorded on them before they broke down. If so, those votes were lost. Story Archive
11/7/2007 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Atlantic County. Sequoia Advantage. When election workers tried to transfer the data from about 320 electronic voting machines to a central database that would count them all, the central computer wouldn't read the cards. Eventually Sequoia helped them resolve the problem. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
11/8/2007 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Mercer County. Two Sequoia Advantage electronic voting machines malfunctioned during the election and were removed from service. One was repaired. The memory cartridges, which hold the votes, were not removed from the machines on election night. The votes will be counted with the provisional ballots. 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
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
2/20/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Union County and others using the "Advantage" paperless e-voting machine. County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi discovered that the numbers from the cartridges that print out vote tallies and the paper-tape backup within the machine didn't match. Rajoppi asked her colleagues in other counties to perform the same test, and similar problems were found on about 2 dozen voting machines, including those in Bergen, Gloucester, Middlesex and Ocean counties.

For example, the tape on one machine counted 168 votes for Democratic candidates, while the cartridge showed 170. On the Republican side, the tape counted 57 votes, but the cartridge showed 55. Story Archive Story2 Archive2 Story3 Archive3

Update: March 12, 2008. After Sequoia's explanation blaming poll workers for the problem, the county clerks asked Ed Felton of Princeton University to review the machines. And the constitutional officers unanimously passed the resolution seeking an independent analysis during an executive board meeting. The association sent the resolution to the governor's office and the state attorney general's office, which oversees all elections. Story Archive

Update: March 17, 2008. The Princeton investigation has been called off because of a letter sent by Sequoia threatening the counties and Mr. Felton with lawsuits. Story Archive Story2

2/23/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Mercer County. 5% of the county's "Advantage" paperless e-voting machines reported incorrect turnout totals. They "miscalculated the numbers of total Republican and total Democratic ballots, county Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello said." Officials are claiming the machines tallied the votes correctly, but they give no indication of how they could know that. 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
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
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Essex County. One of three AVC Advantage electronic voting machines malfunctioned at George Washington Carver elementary school. During the malfunction about 50 voters were asked to vote on paper.

When two machines malfunctioned at Conklin Hall near the Rutgers-Newark campus, voters were turned away and asked to come back later after the machines were replaced. Story Archive

11/4/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Hudson County. Votes cast on AVC Advantage paperless electronic voting machine are stored on cartridges. The cartridge readers in several municipalities, including Bayonne, Union City, Secaucus, and West New York aren't working. County Clerk Barbara Netchert said her office's computer experts visited all the local clerks' offices last week and the readers were working. But now that it's game day, the system has collapsed. Story Archive
6/3/2009 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Monmouth County. Results from a half-dozen towns were delayed because of problems in transmitting data from Sequoia Advantage electronic voting machine cartridges. In several cases after the polls closed Tuesday the cartridges had to be physically transported to central election offices in Freehold. "I'm not sure what the problem was, but the cartridges weren't being read correctly," Allentown Borough Clerk Julie Martin said. Story Archive

Update 6/5/09. The county is planning a special mock election in hopes of figuring out what keeps going wrong in reporting results from real elections. Story Archive

11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Mercer County (Trenton). Memory cartridges from Advantage e-voting machines reported zero totals in 10 municipalities, even though there were votes on the machines. Vote totals were available on paper tapes printed at the machines. Story Archive

Update 11/6/09. Sequoia explained that there was an "as yet unknown problem in the connection to the county server", and when the transmission didn't go through clearly, the cartridges went into "review" mode. Story Archive

10/22/2004 Machine malfunction NM Sequoia Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties. Votes change to the wrong candidate on the Sequoia touch screen. Both Republicans and Democrats had presidential votes changed, as well as other choices. Story Archive
10/26/2004 Machine malfunction NM Sequoia Sandoval County problems escalate. Sequoia machines switch votes, won't register votes unless certain other races are voted, and switch straight party votes to another party. A check of the early voting site Friday morning found that problems were likely due to an "inconsistent stream of electricity," to some of the voting machines. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction NM Sequoia New Mexico Republicans complained at Bush-Cheney headquarters in Albuquerque that Sandoval County e-voting machines switched their Bush votes to Kerry. One Republican candidate for judge found he couldn't vote for himself at first. Story Archive
10/31/2005 Machine malfunction NM Sequoia Dona Ana County. Ballot programming error caused the City Clerk Shirley Clark to decide not to use the voting machines in this election. (VotersUnite contacted the county and discovered that Sequoia Voting Systems did the programming for Edge voting machines.) Story Archive
11/3/2006 Machine malfunction NM McKinley County. Ballot printer at the early voting site printed one side of the ballot upside down, slowed down, then stopped. "According to Palochak, the county's Elections Bureau director, the problem lay with the electronic server in Santa Fe feeding the early voting centers across the state their voter data. The machines started slowing down around 2 p.m., he said, and were back to business as usual by 2:45." Story Archive
3/21/2008 Machine malfunction NM ESS New Mexico. Problem-prone memory cards used in voting machines across New Mexico are being recalled to make certain they're working properly in preparation for the June primary election. The cards hold ballot information and are necessary for vote tabulators to operate. A number of county clerks have reported card failures and they have been forced to use backup cards to keep voting machines in service during elections. 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

10/26/2004 Machine malfunction NV Sequoia Las Vegas. Reports of misfeeds and printer jams on the electronic voting machines. The county clerk says no votes were lost, but the article fails to explain how the clerk knows that. Story Archive
12/8/2004 Machine malfunction NV Sequoia Elko County. 271 votes were not counted in the election because three of the Sequoia touch screen voting computers had been left in test mode on election day. Archive
11/10/2006 Machine malfunction NV Sequoia Nye County. Flawed programming on the Sequoia touch screen system caused tally problems. The tally program would only read header cards in precinct order, and not all the precinct numbers are used in the county. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction NY Late openings, broken down machines and insufficient or inadequately trained staff at some locations. Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction NY More broken machines in NYC. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Tompkins County. One of the ballot marking machines intended for voters with disabilities froze up during the instruction phase and could not be used. Story Archive
11/10/2008 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Essex County. County commissioner complains of the unreliability, printer problems, and 180 identified defects in the Image Cast scanners. Story Archive
9/15/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Broome County. During the "pilot" using uncertified equipment, Sequoia/Dominion ImageCast ballot marking devices/optical scanners malfunctioned in several precincts. At Seton Catholic High School, the machine was out of operation for an hour with memory card problems. At Davis College in Johnson City, the machine didn't start up properly. "Just turn it on and it will do it's things, well it didn't do it's thing." said Broome County Election Inspection Chair David Aswad. Story Archive
Records: 321-360 of 616
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