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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
11/1/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machine. "three more voters told Guilford County GOP Chairman Bill Wright that machines switched presidential votes at Pleasant Garden Town Hall and Friendly Center in Greensboro. With help, voters corrected their ballots." Story Archive
10/28/2008 Ballot printing NC ESS Brunswick County. A poll worker at the Oak Island Recreation Center voting location put the paper in backward, causing the iVotronic touch screen not to print the individual records of votes cast on a majority of the polling machines. Story Archive
10/28/2008 Machine malfunction TX ESS Jefferson County. Vote-flipping from Obama to McCain on the iVotronic touch screen machine. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
10/28/2008 Machine malfunction WI ESS Dane County (Madison). Malfunctioning AutoMark ballot marker prevents a blind woman from casting her vote privately. First it displayed an error message. Then it ran out of ink and wouldn't print the ballot. The county's chapter of the National Federation of the Blind has received other calls about this same problem. Story Archive
10/26/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Monongalia and Greenbrier Counties. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machines. From the article: "In recent days, at least 14 voters from Jackson, Putnam, Berkeley, Ohio, Monongalia and Greenbrier counties have told The Charleston Gazette that ES&S machines switched their votes from Democratic to Republican candidates. No one has contacted The Gazette to say a voting machine flipped Republican votes to Democratic candidates. In each case, county poll workers helped the voters correct their ballots. But several worried that others might not notice switched votes." Story Archive Story2 Archive2
10/25/2008 Machine malfunction TN ESS Davidson County. An iVotronic touch screen malfunctioned and didn't let a voter see her ballot, but the poll worker said she had voted. "I hit the button to go to the ballot and there was a flash," she said, adding that the screen went blank, then returned to the main menu. "I didn't see the ballot to actually choose anything." Story Archive
10/23/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Berkeley County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen voting machines. Two voters in Berkeley County, West Virginia, reported that their votes for Obama were "switched" to McCain on iVotronic DRE machines, although both spotted the problem and were able to fix it after multiple tries. Story Archive

Update 10/23/08. More voters complain of vote-flipping from Obama to McCain. Story Archive

10/22/2008 Machine malfunction SC ESS Beaufort County. Votes for Bluffton Town Council candidates did not register on the review screen of the iVotronic touch screen voting machines. Even with help from poll workers, the votes didn't register. Some voters were able to cast those votes on paper ballots. Story Archive

Update 10/23/08. Officials say the machines are working properly, that in multivote contests (vote for more than one), the review screen is only supposed to show the number of candidates chosen, not their names. County Elections and Voter Registration director Agnes Garvin attributed questions about the machines to a software limitation that affects the screen voters use to review their choices before actually casting their ballot. [Editor - A voter told us he contacted the SoS, who said this is not the way the iVotronics are supposed to operate.] Story Archive

10/22/2008 Machine malfunction TN ESS Decatur County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machine. At least three voters attempted to vote for McCain for president and saw the light for Obama light up instead. Some officials suggest that the viewing angle of the screen makes it difficult to know where voters are touching. Story Archive

Update 10-25-08. Reports from local investigators to VotersUnite indicate that this story is a hoax and that the county registrar concurs.

10/21/2008 Machine malfunction TN ESS Davidson County (Nashville). Vote-flipping on the iVotronic paperless voting machine. Patricia Earnhardt pressed the button for Obama multiple times, yet it didn't highlight. She called the poll worker over who did the same thing. The third time the poll worker pressed the button, the box beside Cynthia McKinney lit up -- several rows down. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
10/21/2008 Deceptive practices TX ESS Williamson County. Elections Administrator Rick Barron has circulated an email giving false information about straight-party voting. "A voter can vote straight party and have all of their votes count," the e-mail states. "They can also vote straight party and then select every Democrat again, if they so chose." The truth is that 'selecting' every Democrat again will deselect those candidates. Story Archive
10/21/2008 Machine malfunction TX ESS Dallas. A new type of vote-flipping in the straight-party function on the iVotronic touch screen machine. A voter voted straight-party, then attempted to deselect two of the judges in that party. When he deselected one candidate, the machine erroneously marked the opposing candidate. Story Archive
10/21/2008 Machine malfunction TX ESS Palo Pinto County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machine. A voter reported to VotersUnite that her straight Democratic ticket to a straight Republican ticket TWICE "right before my eyes!" The articles tell more and mention other voters with the same complaint. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
10/21/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Ohio County. Vote-flipping on the presidential contest, on the iVotronic touch screen machines, in addition to Putnam and Jackson Counties. Story Archive
10/20/2008 E-pollbook FL ESS Miami-Dade County. Shortage of check-in computers cause long lines. Miami Beach - Two of the four check-in computers at one early voting site were not working at the start of the day. Story Archive Story Archive
10/20/2008 E-pollbook FL ESS Broward County. Computer used to check-in voters are malfunctioning, causing long lines on the first day of early voting. Story Archive

10-21-08. Lines up to 3˝ hours long continued to plague early voting across Broward County on Tuesday. Some voters gave up and left. Story Archive

10/18/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Jackson County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen. At least three voters saw their Democratic votes flipped to Republican on the screen. Story Archive
10/18/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Putnam County. Vote-flipping from Democrat to Republican on the iVotronic e-voting machines. Six voters saw their votes changed on the screen. Story Archive

More vote flipping in this county from Democratic candidates (President and Governor) to Republican. In addition, one voter saw his vote flip from Jay Rockefeller to Jay Wolfe, and the name of Wolfe printed on the voter's individual printout. It took him several more tries to get Rockefeller to be selected on the screen and the printout. ES&S could not be reached for comment. Story Archive

10/7/2008 E-pollbook NE ESS Nebraska's voter registration computer system Monday caused voting delays over the lunch hour at election offices across the state. Some voters waited for over an hour to vote. "After no one could figure out what the problem was, technicians rebooted the system at 12:15 p.m. That seemed to solve the problem after about half an hour." Story Archive
9/10/2008 Machine malfunction MA ESS New Bedford. AutoMark ballot-marking machines "won't work" with Republican ballots, even though all ballots were printed by the same printer. Story Archive
9/5/2008 Machine malfunction MI ESS Plymouth Township in Wayne County. M100 optical scanners in the precincts. The original total was 1,920 votes for Bridgman to 1,770 votes for Prchlik in the Township Clerk contest. Prchlik requested a recount. The hand recount yielded results of 1,885 to 1,727 -- a loss of 78 votes. Two of the four precincts could not be recounted according to state law, since the number of ballots did not match the voters signed in. So, the 78-vote decrease occurred in only two of the precincts (presumably about half the total votes). Canvassers upheld the result. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
9/4/2008 Machine malfunction FL ESS Broward County. As required by Florida law, the Supervisor of Elections conducted a three-hour manual spot-check of results from 16 of the public defender race's 779 precincts, or about 2 percent. "Of the 16 chosen precincts — picked by drawing pieces of paper from a box — nine mirrored machine results while the other seven resembled original results by 95 percent or more." Thus in about 1% of the precincts, with just one race checked, the machine count was wrong by as much as 5%. Story Archive
8/27/2008 Machine malfunction FL ESS Pinellas County. 12 scanners (new DS200) had to be replaced, according to county elections spokeswoman Nancy Whitlock. Some experienced paper jams, she said, and on some the screens froze. Story Archive
8/27/2008 Machine malfunction FL ESS Pasco County. Five DS200 scanners broke down. Eighteen weren't able to transmit results via modem. "poll workers had to pull out the thumb drive and take it to the elections office — although in one case it took three trips, because of confusion over who had the thumb drive." 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
8/7/2008 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
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 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
5/24/2008 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

5/21/2008 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

5/15/2008 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
4/19/2008 Machine malfunction TX ESS Angelina County. Errors are still not resolved in the tabulation of ballots scanned by the M-100 optical scanner and cast on the iVotronic e-voting machine, and collected by the ES&S "expert" technician. County officials are petitioning a judge to allow a recount. County District Attorney Ed Jones didn't have the exact numbers Friday, but gave amounts of discrepancies he thought were "close." Electronic votes from Box 13, which was at the Chambers Park rock house, were under-counted by 305 votes; Precinct 6 was over-counted by 573 votes; Precinct 11 was over-counted by 275 votes; and Precinct 11B was over-counted by 204 votes, Jones said. Story Archive

Update 6/7/08. A recount of the ballots from five precincts found 959 fewer votes than originally reported. The error had been caused by the technician who uploaded the results from each memory cartridge twice. Outcomes were not changed by the change in totals. Story Archive

Records: 41-80 of 279
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