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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
10/29/2008 Machine malfunction TX Diebold Collin County. Vote-flipping on the touch screen voting machine. Straight-party Democratic vote switched to Republican. Story Archive
10/27/2008 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
10/23/2008 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
10/22/2008 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
10/20/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Duval County. (Jacksonville.) 7 of 15 OSX ballot-reading machines used for early voting would not read ballots, indicating the ballots were too long -- and causing long lines. Officials say they tested the machines and that the ballots are the standard size - 17 inches. Officials say Diebold needs to correct the problem. Long The problem continued the following day, with scanners refusing to read ballots (see Story 2). Story Archive Story2 Archive2

Leon County. The same problem is occurring here and other places in the state where the OSX is used. Story Archive Story2

Update 10/21/08. Officials are saying the machines' tolerance for improperly loaded ballots is too low. Story Archive

10/20/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Flagler County. New scanners are unable to read some ballots. Officials think they are too sensitive to variations in the physical length of the ballot. (Same problem as in Duval and Leon Counties.) Story Archive
8/27/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Brevard County. Touch screen machines in 50 precincts fail to transmit results to the central office by modem. This problem has occurred in previous elections. Story Archive
8/27/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Hillsborough County. An hour after the polls closed in Hillsborough, Supervisor of Elections Buddy Johnson told reporters that his optical scan vote counting system had developed a computer problem that was preventing it from posting the tallies electronically — and he blamed Premier Voting Solutions. "I haven't been able to get a straight answer from Premier, but I will by the end of the night," he said. "I expect them to fix this issue. We've paid a lot of money." Story Archive
Premier/Diebold admitted it was a problem with the equipment -- an incompatibility between the precinct scanners and the scanners used to tabulate absentee ballots. Story Archive Archive2 Archive3
8/27/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Sarasota County. When workers tried to count absentee ballots on election night, the optical scan machines would not communicate with the server. So more than 10,000 absentee ballots had to be hand-counted. "We could not get the absentee ballots totals to upload into the main server to combine all of the totals together for absentee early voting," says Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent. So workers had to count them individually. Story Archive 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
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
6/5/2008 Machine malfunction CA Diebold Santa Cruz County. Three touch screen e-voting machines broke down and had to be replaced. 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
5/18/2008 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
5/6/2008 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
4/8/2008 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Butler County. Election officials discovered a "serious problem in the GEMS program provided by Premier Elections Solutions." On the night of the March 4 election, even though the system reported that all memory cards had been uploaded properly, one of the memory cards had not been. The system did not report the error, and the officials found it accidentally while examining the database for an unrelated reason. In their subsequent complaint letter to Diebold, they pointed out:

"A situation of this nature could impact any election. It may appear that every vote has been counted when cards indicate they are being properly uploaded, when in fact votes cast on a memory card(s) are not tabulated in the results." Story Story2 Archive2

Update 5/17/08. After investigating the problem, Premier claims that software used for counting votes conflicted with anti-virus software, and local elections officials did not understand error messages that happened as a result. They will not be able to correct the vote-counting flaw before November but will provide "special instructions" to administrators. Story Archive Premier/Diebold Anti-Virus Advisory

Update 8/6/08. After a state investigation found that the problem affected 11 counties (Belmont, Butler, Cuyahoga, Green, Guernsey, Henry, Jefferson, Lucas, Miami, Montgomery, and Stark), Secretary of State Brunner joined with four counties that had filed suit against Diebold ("Premier"). The suit claims 1. Breach of warranty; 2. Breach of contract; 3. Breach of contract for failing to conform to Ohio law; 4. Fraud in the inducement; and 5. Request for a determination of the rights of the parties (known as declaratory judgment). Press Release Story Archive
State Summary of the Testing
Premier/Diebold Advisory
Premier/Diebold letter to Brunner

3/8/2008 Machine malfunction IL Diebold DuPage County. In at least three precincts, the touchscreen machines flashed the word "Republican" at the start of the ballot in a two-party contest for Congressional District 14. The solution? Put a piece of masking tape over the screen where it appears. Story Archive
3/4/2008 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Lucas County. Ballot issues were not appearing on touch-screen voting machines because of a problem with the encoder for the devices. A technician was dispatched and fixed the problem. In the meantime, voters used paper ballots. Story Archive
3/4/2008 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Darke County. "The race for the 79th Ohio House District representative between Richard Adams and Joe LeMasters did not appear on the electronic ballot, but on paper ballots at 13 precincts. The problem was discovered two hours after the polls opened. Unless voters noticed it, and voted on paper ballot for the race, they did not vote for the race, and will not be allowed to re-vote. Memory Cards were re-programmed to fix the problem." Story Archive
2/14/2008 Ballot printing OH Diebold Lucas County. The Lucas County Board of Elections has discovered an error in its ballot that could lead Democratic voters to vote for both presidential candidates. The error is that Democratic voters might be asked to vote for delegates and alternates for their choice of presidential candidate both in the congressional district and statewide. Story Archive
2/12/2008 E-pollbook GA Diebold "Numerous voters in at least five Georgia counties have complained that there weren't enough e-pollbooks and that the machines crashed or were otherwise inoperable. But an election official in Fulton County, Georgia, where many of the crashes were reported, denied that any machine crashed, and said voters were mistaken." The resulting very long lines caused some voters to leave without voting.

Watch the video at the end of the Story to see the extent of one of the lines. Story Archive

2/12/2008 E-pollbook MD Diebold Anne Arundel County. Unidentified polling book snafus caused delays at the start of the election day. Story Archive
2/12/2008 Machine malfunction MD Diebold Prince George County. Only three out of six machines were operating at one polling place. Another was late opening because the Election Judge didn't have the code needed to start the e-voting machines. Story Archive
2/12/2008 Machine malfunction MD Diebold Anne Arundel County. Three voting machines shut down. Two started back up when the election judge unplugged them and plugged them back in. One remained down. "The Diebold tech doesn't know anything," she said in frustration. "Teens from Broadneck High did a better job figuring things out last time." Story Archive
2/7/2008 E-pollbook GA Diebold Muscogee County. 16 voters had to cast provisional ballots because the e-pollbook machine wasn't working properly. Other unidentified "small" problems occurred in another 47 precincts. 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
2/6/2008 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
2/5/2008 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 E-pollbook GA Diebold Atlanta. Computers used to check voters in kept crashing, causing long lines with up to an hour and a half wait. Story Archive
2/5/2008 E-pollbook GA Diebold DeKalb, Fulton and Cobb counties. Long lines formed at polling places. Additional voter processing stations were added at some locations. Articles suggest the problems were caused by e-poll books -- used to check in voters -- crashing. 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 Too few machines GA Diebold Atlanta. Voters complained of too few machines in some polling places, causing long lines. Story Archive
2/5/2008 E-pollbook UT Diebold Davis County. The elections director reported "some glitches" with a new electronic check-in system: "The laptops were running slow on that check-in system, and some electronic readers weren't working well." Story Archive
2/5/2008 E-pollbook UT Diebold Davis County. Technical glitches with an electronic voter check-in created some long lines, said county elections clerk Pat Beckstead. Story Archive
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
1/29/2008 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
Records: 41-80 of 175
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