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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
11/6/2007 Machine malfunction OH ESS Ashtabula County. Ballot programming error on the ES&S M100 prevented the tabulator machines assigned to those multiple-candidate races from accepting more than one name on the ballot. The ballots were counted by hand. Story Archive
11/6/2007 Machine malfunction PA Hart InterCivic Bedford County. None of the eScan optical scanning machines were working at any of the polling places. "Election commissioner Peg Koenig planned to visit all 40 precincts in the county to reprogram machines." Story Archive
11/3/2007 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Florida. Diebold memory cards -- used in precinct optical scanners -- fail at rates as high as 9.2% and 9.4% in some counties. Failures have caused vote losses in the past. Diebold will inspect all the machines in Florida, but only those in Florida if they do not receive complaints from other states. Story Archive
10/29/2007 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. ES&S iVotronic voting machines fail in early voting. Affected voters had to choose whether to come back later or vote provisionally. "George Gilbert, director of the Guilford County Board of Elections confirms that due to a computer glitch, all five of the machines at Bur-Mil would not display the correct information to allow citizens from Summerfield, Oak Ridge, Whitsett, Pleasant Garden and Sedalia to vote. Gilbert says citizens who attempted to vote were urged to come back later, and were given a provisional absentee ballot so they could vote manually if they were unable to do so." Story Archive
10/29/2007 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. iVotronics. "George Gilbert, director of the Guilford County Board of Elections confirms that due to a computer glitch, all five of the machines at Bur-Mil would not display the correct information to allow citizens from Summerfield, Oak Ridge, Whitsett, Pleasant Garden and Sedalia to vote." Story Archive
8/11/2007 Machine malfunction IA Diebold In the Iowa Straw Poll, "About 1,500 ballots needed to be recounted, said Mary Tiffany, a spokeswoman for Republican Party of Iowa.

"Two machines caused the problem, said State Auditor David Vaudt. “What likely happened is someone submitted their ballot too quickly after the other,” he said. The ballots from those machines were hand counted, then re-fed into the system to recalculate the vote. A campaign poll-watcher said in one instance, a black box contained 500 paper ballots but the machine’s memory said it had scanned in 498." Story

6/19/2007 Machine malfunction PA Hart InterCivic Bedford County. "Peg Koenig, director of elections in Bedford County, said there was a memory card problem in voting machines on Election Day. Koenig said the Northern Bedford County School District had a massive write-in campaign that was much larger than expected. She said the memory cards in the e-scan voting machines became so full that the machines spit the ballots out." Commissioner Mike Shaffer lost the Republican primary by eight votes to Michael Herline. The entire Republican primary election results will be recounted. The article suggests that the ballots will be recounted by machine. Story Archive
5/30/2007 Machine malfunction PA Danaher Monroe County. Malfunctions and possible fraud. At the Coolbaugh 3 polling place, one of the machines was unlocked when it was inspected at the start of election day but it was used anyway. Danaher e-voting machine displayed zeros for totals at the end of day, and a technician had to be called in. Two of the five machines were inoperable at some point. Story Archive
5/17/2007 Machine malfunction TX Diebold Wise County. Two out of three Diebold touch screen machines malfunction. One of them lost 38 votes, which even Diebold cannot retrieve. Aurora city may have to hold a new election. Story Archive
5/16/2007 Late counting PA ESS Beaver County. Complicated procedures with three activator devices. Poll worker didn't close the polls and votes from the iVotronics weren't included in the initial results. Story Archive
5/16/2007 Machine malfunction PA ESS Luzerne County. Wrong ballots on the iVotronic. The candidates in Region 2 appeared on the Region 3 ballot and the candidates in Region 3 appeared on the Region 2 ballot, according to Leonard Piazza, director of the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections. “Due to an oversight we had the wrong ballots on those machines,” Piazza said. Story Archive
5/16/2007 Machine malfunction PA Hart InterCivic Blair County. eSlate e-voting machines. "Palmer Brown went to vote early Tuesday at the Catfish District of Blair Township, the Reservoir Church, the voting machines were not working. The only thing that came up when he tried to cast his ballot was 'old election data.' " Story Archive
5/16/2007 Machine malfunction PA AVS Lackawanna County. Officials can't retrieve vote data from the USB devices. "By Wednesday afternoon, officials had checked the USBs from Scranton’s 48 districts; only two contained no data, according to Cathy Hardaway, county director of voter education." Story Archive
5/16/2007 Machine malfunction PA ESS Westmoreland County. Poll workers in several precincts had trouble printing zero tapes on the iVotronics. Zero tapes show that no votes have been cast yet -- that the ballot box is empty. Election Bureau Director Jim Montini said the zero tapes could be printed any time before the polls close. Story Archive
5/16/2007 Machine malfunction PA ESS Allegheny County. Various problems with the iVotronic touch screens: undefined malfunctions turned voters away from at least one polling place; write-in feature either didn't work or was unintuitive; voters complained that the machines didn't allow them to undervote in races where they could vote for more than one candidate; some said the machine made them start over. Story Archive
5/16/2007 Too few machines PA ESS McKean County. Long lines with low turnout on the iVotronic touch screen. "voters experienced long waits at polling locations - the voter turnout was 26.11 percent, according to Director of Elections Judy Ordiway." Story Archive
5/15/2007 Machine malfunction PA Danaher Philadelphia. Alicia Shubert/Mantua tells us, "The voting machines aren't working. I've been waiting all week, all month, all year - just to get my opinion said and I haven't been able to do so. And I'm very upset with this." The problem at the polling place in Mantua? Both available voting machines were broken. Election Judge Veronica Outlaw-Drummond said, "We have turned away maybe 15 or 20 people already." And that was at around 9 a.m.! Story Archive
5/15/2007 Machine malfunction PA ESS Centre County. Computer malfunction took down all the iVotronics at one polling site for two hours. Story Archive
5/15/2007 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Denton County. "The county's voting machines were programmed to print the totals by precinct because of the amendment, but it didn't give totals for Flower Mound's two council races, two alcohol propositions and 10 charter amendments." Story Archive
5/10/2007 Machine malfunction IN MicroVote Lake County. Problems getting results after a power outage. Difficulty operating machines and retrieving results. "Shamo said there is a possibility a small number of votes remain uncounted on 34 electronic voting machines that poll workers may have had problems operating." Story Archive
5/10/2007 Machine malfunction IN MicroVote Lake County. "Computers froze in the election office Tuesday night when officials attempted to electronically transfer the tallies from individual voting machines to the mainframe designed to compile the results. Recognizing the glitch in the program that reads the cartridges from the machines, elections workers began the tedious task of manually entering the vote totals from remaining vote machine cartridges." Story Archive
5/10/2007 Malfeasance IN MicroVote Lake County. Three voting machines, left unguarded outside, were stolen. Story Archive
5/10/2007 Poor design IN MicroVote Allen County. "Poll workers in some locations had used the wrong tally cards to read voting machines." Story Archive
5/9/2007 Machine malfunction IN ESS Marion County. Polls could not be kept open late because the machines were not programmed to operate after 6:00.!! Story Archive
5/9/2007 Vote suppression IN ESS Marion County. 150 poll workers didn't show up; wrong ballots were delivered; wrong keys prevented poll workers from opening machines; some polls didn't open at all. Story Archive
3/20/2007 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Montgomery County (Dayton). Vote-flipping in official testing. Responding to the complaints of voters in the 2006 election, officials tested 62 touch screen machines and found that 33 of them recorded votes incorrectly. 14 were unable to be fixed and were shipped back to Diebold. Story Archive
3/9/2007 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Montgomery County. A legal rights advocacy group wants Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner to investigate complaints from about 20 voters that Montgomery County's touch screen electronic voting machines changed their votes during the November election. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
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
1/9/2007 Machine malfunction IL Sequoia Cook County. An investigative panel has found that " 'technology failures in multiple areas' and a lack of testing triggered a spiraling series of glitches that left some results unclear for days. "Although technology problems occurring on Election Night constituted the primary cause of the reporting delays, operational shortcomings in the process leading up to Election Day also played a role in failing to understand and thus mitigate the risks," the report said.

"The flawed user interface on the HAAT [machine designed to transmit vote totals from precincts to central office] led 90 percent of election judges to believe that they had successfully transmitted, whereas only 56 percent had actually done so," the report said. Story Archive

1/8/2007 Canvass anomalies TX ESS Hill County. Two citizens who monitored recounts claim to have observed a pattern that indicates that every 10th vote on the iVotronic voting machines flipped votes from Democratic to Republican candidates. Story Archive
12/15/2006 Malfeasance CO Hart InterCivic Montrose County. In violation of state law, county election officials did not perform pre-election testing. Appropriate testing is likely to have detected a ballot programming error affecting write-in selections. Nor did the county submit a security plan before the election, as required by a court order. Story Archive
12/15/2006 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. About 9 percent of the printers attached to the county’s voting machines had a jam or other problem. In many cases, that problem made the paper record generated unusable for purposes of a state-mandated audit, according to county elections director George Gilbert. Story Archive
12/7/2006 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Fairfield County. An error in the tabulation process caused results to be reported incorrectly. A month after the election Diebold informed Fairfield County that a change had been needed because Issue 1 had been removed from the ballots of the touchscreens. After processing the results correctly, the tabulator reported changes that reversed the outcomes of three issue contests. Diebold had informed some other county elections boards that purchased voting machines from the company of the modification, but failed to alert Fairfield County. 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
11/30/2006 Malfeasance CO Sequoia Denver. Investigation reveals that Denver election officials passed up the tested e-poll book software used by Larimer County, which would have handled the load. Instead they hired Sequoia to develop the software they were not experienced to do. Sequoia officials claim no knowledge of having developed the software. Officials estimate 20,000 voters were disenfranchised on Election Day. Turnout was 68,000. Story Archive Story2 Archive2 Story3 Archive3 Story4 Archive4

12/1/06 update. Documents refute Sequoia official's claim that they didn't know the software would be used for voter check-in. City auditor estimates the cost of switching to vote centers was significantly higher than if the city had remained with neighborhood polling places, which would have also avoided the massive Election Day problems. Story Archive

11/30/2006 Machine malfunction WV ESS Marshall County. A software error prevented the county from tabulating the results in a recount. 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
11/27/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Cleburne County. Vote-switching. Voters' selections for Mayoral candidate Jackie McPherson were changed on the iVotronic screen to votes for incumbent Paul Muse. Testing confirmed the problem. Story Archive
11/23/2006 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. "Accessible" features of the iVotronic voting machine failed to provide independent voting for a visually impaired woman who tried it. Story Archive
11/22/2006 Malfeasance UT Diebold Utah County. Without understanding the differences in database formats, county IT personnel used the current version to program the Diebold touch screen memory cards and and a backup version to program the memory card encoders. The formats were slightly different. "That mismatch prevented a ballot from being called up on the touchscreen voting machines, said Diebold spokesman David Bear." Apparently, the county officials didn't test the system before using it, or the mismatch would have been detected. Voters were left waiting in long lines, and some were turned away from the polls. Story Archive
Records: 481-520 of 1280
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