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Election Problem Log - 2004 to 2009
Check out our other problem logs!
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
5/16/2006 Machine malfunction PA ESS Centre County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic not caused by calibration. The calibration of a touch-screen voting machine in a State College precinct was checked and found to be working properly after a voter had difficulty, McKinley said. Story Archive
5/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Pulaski, Phillips, and Lonoke counties. ES&S misprogrammed the optical scanners, and they didn't count correctly. Election workers in 10 precincts manually counted the ballots. Story Archive
5/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Cleburne County. ES&S misprogrammed the iVotronic touch screens, and results were delayed. Story Archive
5/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Washington County. Election workers were unable to close the iVotronic touch screens. Story Archive
5/8/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Carroll County. ES&S provided incorrect ballot proofs. "All justice of the peace and constable races were lumped together and there was a disregard for ballot positions in other races." The county voted to have the ballots printed by a local printer.

Across the state, ES&S failed to provide ballots and programming on time. Many counties experienced programming problems and other problems with the optical scanners and iVotronic touch screens. Story Archive Story2 Archive2

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
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Riverside County. Voters said the machine would not allow them to vote for only one candidate. They tried on three machines and finally used paper ballots. One of the machines was taken out of service. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction CA Alameda County. Touch screen voting machines switched votes on statewide propositions. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction CA Contra Costa County. "A series of glitches in new voting machines and ballot-counting machines further postponed results from Contra Costa County, said county elections clerk Stephen Weir." Story
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction CA Monterey County. Ballot- counting machines "inexplicably overcounted the absentee ballots." Story
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Fulton County. Diebold touch screen register votes incorrectly on the screen, require recalibration in at least five polling locations. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Fulton County. Three machines at one polling place switched voters votes. They were taken out of service. "One candidate tells Channel 2, the discrepancy may force a race into an unnecessary run-off." Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Lucas County. Some voters left without voting when the new Diebold voting machines weren't up and running when the polls were supposed to open. Memory cards couldn't be found at one polling place; voting machines couldn't be found at another. Story
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Stark County. Poll workers ran into problems setting up the Diebold voting machines. Some panicked when they attempted to assemble the machines and the machines didn't work properly. 42 workers ran to polling stations to help. Operations weren't fully running until mid-morning. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Montgomery County. Ballot programming error. The wrong candidates were displayed on the touch screens (Diebold). Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Montgomery County. Diebold touch screens show "low paper error" in 30 to 40 precincts (explained as a result of jostling during transport). Some poll workers had trouble inserting memory cards into the machines, and in two precincts machines were taken out of service in the morning because of malfunctions. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Wood County. New Diebold touch screen machines weren't up an running at many precincts when the polls opened. "But all precincts had at least one machine up by 6:40 a.m. and all machines in the majority of the county were available for voters by about 7:30 a.m." Story
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Butler County. "In Butler County, the debut of touch-screen voting machines -- and some technical foul-ups associated with them -- caused at least six or seven polling places to open up to a half hour late on Tuesday, county elections officials said." Phone lines were jammed with requests for technical assistance. Story
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Clermont County. "Voting glitches in Clermont County are causing delays in ballot tallying. Officials said perforations at the top of a new ballot design jammed the counters, and some ballots were not cut properly, so they had to be fed through the machines more than once. New software also gave out inaccurate reports and had to be corrected. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Lucas County. "Technical issues," difficulties with the memory cards, and "problems with the new technology" (Diebold touch screens) were some of the causes of the "chaos" in the election. Chain of custody issues, too: "But the scene at midnight was one of chaos on the third floor, with the special red and green bags holding memory cartridges and printed tapes of votes lining the hallways, piled on the floor in the elections office, and dumped in a large cart sitting unattended near the elevators." Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Delays in many counties were attributed to machine problems and lack of training in the 44 counties that used new touch screens and optical scanners in this election. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Medina County. The new Diebold touch screen system reported incomplete results as complete, because the computer program that made that determination was based on polling places, not on the number of precincts. David Baer, spokesman for Diebold Elections Systems, said that they can report results in a number of ways and that first-time users often find they need to tweak the reporting programs to get the kinds of reports they need. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction PA ESS Cumberland County. Ballot misprogramming error. ES&S made yet another ballot programming error on the optical scanners, causing a miscount and a possible reversal of the initial election results. Ballots will be scanned again, and they will be hand counted. Story Archive

Update: In the initial count, Republican Keating beat Democrat Rhoades, 1,650 to 1,468. The second machine count and the hand count both showed Rhoades winning by 2 votes - 1,703 to 1,701. Story Archive

11/8/2005 Machine malfunction PA Somerset County. Ballot misprogramming error. "Officials are blaming the delay in tabulating Tuesday's results on blank ballots for statewide judicial retention that could not be read by optical scanners. ... On Tuesday, officials said every ballot without votes on the separate retention ballot was kicked out of the system, slowing the count considerably." Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction SC ESS Georgetown County. Ballot programming error. Touch screen machines weren't programmed with the legally required straight-party voting. The problem was discovered during testing, but not until after several voters had voted absentee. (ES&S iVotronic touch screen.) Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction SC ESS Georgetown County. Candidates' names did not appear on the review screen of the ES&S iVotronic touch screen. "Our voters had no confirmation for whom they had voted." State officials said this is just the way the machines operate. (In 2006, this operation will be a violation of federal law - HAVA). Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction TX ESS Hidalgo County. New ES&S iVotronic voting machines, outfitted for visually impaired voters, didn't work. "Election Systems & Software, the company that manufactures the machines, spent the day at the Hidalgo County Elections Building trying to fix the software problem, [Hidalgo County Elections Coordinator Angie ] Garcia said, but had not managed to get the machines up and running by the time polls closed. Overall, though, Garcia said she thought the machines functioned smoothly." [What???] Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction TX ESS Matagorda County. The county's brand new ES&S optical scanner quit working after processing early ballots. The technician wasn't able to fix it, so ES&S had to fly a new one in for the county to certify and use. Story Archive
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction VA AVS Roanoke County. Voters in 4 precincts report that their votes on the AVS Winvote touch screen machine were registered for the Republican instead of the Democratic candidate for Governor. They say they attempted repeatedly to vote for Kaine, but the screen continued to show Kilgore. Story
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction VA ESS Elizabeth City. ES&S iVotronic touch screen machines switched votes on the screen. In early voting, 42 blank ballots were recorded in this one-contest election. On election day 18 blank ballots were recorded. The margin of victory was 14 votes, 17 after provisional were counted. No meaningful recount is possible on the paperless machines. Story1 Story2 Archive2
11/8/2005 Machine malfunction VA Spotsylvania. The ballot counting machines wasn't working properly, and some ballots had to be counted by hand. "A faulty memory pack on the system at Wilderness was rejecting ballots with even the slightest fray or fold in the paper, said Shirley Boggs, Spotsylvania's registrar." 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
11/2/2005 Machine malfunction CO Morgan County. Mechanical problems on old ballot scanners cause delays in counting. 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
5/7/2005 Machine malfunction FL ESS Miami-Dade County, Florida. A study of poll books and vote totals has revealed major discrepancies. 35% of the polling places had more votes than voters or lost votes. Story Archive
3/12/2005 Machine malfunction WI ESS Taylor County. About 27 percent of all votes cast in Medford during the Nov. 2 election were not counted because an ES&S programmer improperly set the optical scanner that records the ballots, officials say. Story Archive
3/8/2005 Machine malfunction MD Diebold All Maryland voting machines have been on ''lockdown'' since November 2, 2004 due to statewide machine failures including 12% of machines in Montgomery County, some of which appear to have lost votes in significant numbers.

According to the IT Report to the Montgomery County Election Board, dated December 13, 2004, screen freezes, which occurred on 106 voting units were "the most serious of errors" because many "froze when the voter pressed the Cast Ballot button." As a result "election judges are unable to provide substantial confirmation that the vote was in fact counted." Story Archive

2/10/2005 Machine malfunction PA Mercer County. 4,000 out of 52,000 votes didn't count because of problems. In one precinct in Farrell, only 55 votes for president were counted although 238 people voted. One machine was still programmed to collect votes for last year's primary election ballot -- so it couldn't be used at all. Story Archive
12/20/2004 Machine malfunction AR Pike County. Optical scanner failed to count nearly 700 votes. Story Archive
12/13/2004 Machine malfunction FL Pompano Beach. Vote for Kerry changes to Bush on the touch screen. Video of interview
Records: 441-480 of 616
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