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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 CA ESS Contra Costa County. Six ES&S M100 ballot scanners at various polling locations weren't reading ballots. Ballots were placed in a box to be scanned later. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction CA Diebold San Diego County. Diebold e-voting machine malfunctions were reported in many polling places across the county, mainly in the early hours after the polls opened at 7 a.m. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction CA ESS Los Angeles County. ES&S InkaVote machines malfunction, didn't provide the overvote/blank ballot warning, in "only a couple of hundred" polling places out of 5,028. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Alameda County. Nearly 100 of the more than 800 Sequoia Insight ballot scanners at polling sites jammed. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction CA ESS Contra Costa County. ES&S M100 scanners malfunctioned. Some jammed when reading the 19-in long ballot. Others had electrical failures that disabled the visual display. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction CA Diebold San Diego County. Paper jams on the Diebold touch screen machines in Vista. Story
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction CA Across the state: "Voters ran into a veritable zoo of problems at polls across California, from power outages to jammed ballot scanners to electronic voting machines designed for access to disabled voters that either wouldn't work or weren't handicapped accessible. Problems with touch screens and electronic ballot marking devices were reported in San Joaquin, San Diego, San Bernardino, Orange, Sacramento and Contra Costa counties, representing the products of every major voting machine vendor." Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction CA Diebold San Joachin County. Diebold touch screens malfunctioned and polling places ran out of English ballots. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Santa Clara County. Five Sequoia Edge touch screens broke down. Story Archive Personnel Experience
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction CA Diebold Marin County - San Francisco. Scanners wouldn't accept the first page of the ballot. Story Archive
11/10/2006 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Tehama County. A computer malfunction incorrectly labeled 500 paper polling-place ballots as absentee ballots. The Sequoia representative didn't know the cause of the problem. Assistant Clerk and Recorder Bev Ross said she was told machines had been incorrectly set to receive information for the wrong type of machine, although she wasn't certain of the cause Thursday. Story Archive
11/10/2006 Machine malfunction CA Diebold Mendocino County. Diebold memory cards were corrupted, losing votes counted on optical scanners. Ballots will be recounted in the canvass process. Story Archive
11/29/2006 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Riverside County. Sequoia Edge voting machines weren't working. No paper ballots for voters, so some voters used ballots for another precinct and modified them. Long lines, and machines ran out of paper. Some machines were delivered but never became operable for the election. Story Archive
3/8/2007 Machine malfunction CA Diebold Kern County - McFarland. City residents voted on Tuesday for mayor and two city council members, but still no one has been elected. The results are in, but multiple counts have produced different results. City officials said they do not know when those issues will be cleared up. Story Archive
1/23/2008 Machine malfunction CA ESS Sacramento County. M100 optical scanners malfunctioned in many ways during the pre-election "logic and accuracy" tests.

"With some machines, the ballot could not be loaded at all, or only accepted if loaded in backwards. In some cases, Democratic votes were not being recorded by a scanner. With other machines, it would be Republican votes that were not recorded. And with some machines, there were no problems at all. With the election within two weeks, [County Registrar of Voters Jill] Lavine decided to forego using the scanners altogether, and count the ballots centrally at the county election office. " Story

2/5/2008 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia San Francisco. The Sequoia touchscreen froze while a voter was attempting to vote. After he inserted the plastic activation card into the machine, "Nothing moved--neither touching nor talking to the machine worked. What's worse, the card was now stuck in the machine as there was no eject button or function. The clerk who handed me the card was confounded. ... [After consulting another clerk,] the clerk then proceeded to lift the back of my voting machine up, slapping it hard so that it must have told it to reboot itself. ... After the two-minute reboot, voting was simple." Story Archive
2/6/2008 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Santa Clara County. More than a dozen people trying to vote in the Democratic primary at one polling station were almost turned away without casting ballots after paper ballots ran out and the only electronic voting machine at the polling place malfunctioned. An independent election observer and a software engineer waiting to vote fixed the touch-screen machine for the 13 people waiting to cast their ballots. (The machine had been decertified by the Secretary of State for all but voters with disabilities.) Story Archive Story2 Archive2
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
2/6/2008 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Riverside County. At times, one or two of the six ballot-counting machines in the Moreno Valley office broke down. At most times, one could not operate, delaying the final results. On average, officials were able to count about 15,000 ballots an hour. "The machines were expected to count about 400 ballots a minute. Since the polls closed at 8 p.m. Tuesday, they've averaged about 36 per minute." Story Archive Story2 Archive2
2/7/2008 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Santa Cruz County. Unidentified "bugs" in the Sequoia system caused counting delays. "Gail Pellerin, the county clerk and elections head, traced the delays to two hardware problems with Sequoia Voting Systems equipment that took time to recognize and address." Story Archive
2/12/2008 Machine malfunction CA ESS Los Angeles County. Poll worker/journalist reports that they couldn't get the InkaVote machines working for the first few hours, and the multilingual machine never worked at all. Story Archive
3/24/2008 Machine malfunction CA ESS Sacramento County. ES&S miscalibrated the precinct optical scanners, and the tinting on the ballots was so dark that the scanners mis-read the votes. Ballots had to be taken back to the central office to be scanned. "During its investigation, the county said that the vendor that supplies and maintains the scanners, Elections Systems & Software, conducted improper recalibration and preventive maintenance on the machines in December. In addition, the report said that ballots printed by Consolidated Printers were too dark to allow the ballot to be correctly read by the faulty scanners." 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
6/5/2008 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
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Reported to VotersUnite: I arrived at my polling place in the Mission district of San Francisco at 9:45 a.m. on 11/4/2008 I was told that the machine that tally's the votes [Sequoia Insight optical scanner] was broken and that they were waiting for a new one to arrive.
11/5/2008 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Santa Clara County. Fifty-seven of the county's 785 Sequoia touch screen Voting Systems machines failed on Election Day, resulting in hours long delays before replacements arrived. Loose printer connections, as well as dead batteries and broken screens, caused the failures. Computer scientist Noel Runyan — who is blind and advises California's secretary of state on voting access issues — managed to vote in San Jose, despite what he called virtually inaudible voice recordings of his candidate choices and an "angry squirrel sound" in the background. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
12/5/2008 Machine malfunction CA Diebold Humboldt County. The election management system (GEMS 1.18.19) deleted the vote data from the first precinct uploaded to the server -- a precinct with 197 ballots. Diebold (Premier) has known about this problem since 2004-- "sometimes when a deck is deleted from the machine due to normal complications, the software also deletes the Deck Zero, which in this case was the vote-by-mail ballots from Precinct 1E-45." The error was discovered by citizens checking the ballot totals through the "transparency project" instituted by Carolyn Crnich, the county Registrar. Story Archive More details
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction CA ESS Merced County. Four "election computers" were not working properly early in the day and were repaired. Story Archive
11/10/2004 Machine malfunction CO Hart InterCivic Boulder County. Some of the scanners (Hart Intercivic) were not functioning during part of the count. In addition, ballots had to be counted by hand because the barcodes weren't printed correctly "The programming of the scanners might also be to blame for not letting machines read bar codes that were off by an amount so tiny that it was not visible to the naked eye." Story Archive
11/2/2005 Machine malfunction CO Morgan County. Mechanical problems on old ballot scanners cause delays in counting. Story Archive
11/3/2005 Machine malfunction CO Diebold Pitkin County. Nearly 1200 phantom votes (more votes than voters) were reported in one precinct. Diebold AccuVote precinct optical scanners were used. "A recount is possible if election officials can't pin down the exact cause of the problem." Story Archive
8/9/2006 Machine malfunction CO Sequoia Denver County. Paper printout was wrong on the Sequoia Edge. Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff was the second person to try to vote on a new machine at Washington Park, but his vote for himself did not print properly. Picture Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction CO Sequoia Denver. Power failures, voting machines crashing, electronic poll books failing cause long lines and chaos in the Denver election. Judge refuses to extend the voting time. Voters are encouraged to go to other vote centers, but many vote centers are experiencing similar problems. Story Archive
11/14/2006 Machine malfunction CO Sequoia Denver. One of two absentee ballot scanners broke down and had to be replaced during the counting process on election day. Story Archive
11/17/2006 Machine malfunction CO Hart InterCivic Montrose County. Machines broke down in all seven vote centers. Montrose Pavilion was the worst, where 11 out of 12 eSlate electronic voting machines broke down. Insufficient paper ballots were available, so poll workers made copies, which the scanners failed to read. Story Archive Story2
11/6/2007 Machine malfunction CO Diebold Weld County. TSx voting machines displayed the wrong ballot in voting centers across the county. Poll workers distributed paper ballots until the problem was fixed around 9:15 am. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
2/17/2008 Machine malfunction CO Hart InterCivic Testing discovered that the eScan optical scanner continues to have the problem that led to its initial decertification in the State. It fails to detect and count marks on the ballot consistently, leading to inaccurate results. Story Archive Colorado Voting Systems Testing Board Report
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
10/29/2008 Machine malfunction CO Diebold Adams County. Vote-flipping from Democratic state Senate candidate to her Republican opponent on the Diebold/Premier touch screen voting machine. After this happened three times, she was allowed to vote on another machine. The machine has been quarantined. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
Records: 41-80 of 616
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