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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
11/5/2008 Machine malfunction PA ESS Centre County. Officials said there was a difference in how one of the new Model 100 optical scanner machines counted the votes in the 26th precinct, as opposed to the actual number of ballots cast. Workers were counting the ballots by hand as of noon. Similar vote count problems with two other State College precincts were corrected early Wednesday. Story Archive
5/20/2009 Machine malfunction PA Bucks County. Shouptronic 1242 Voting machines malfunctioned in five towns: Bristol, Wrightstown, Falls, Tullytown and Morrisville. Paper write-in ballots were jammed in two machines, details about the others are unknown. Story Archive
5/21/2009 Machine malfunction PA Bucks County. Problems reporting the results online. “For about an hour Tuesday night one of two servers the county rents through a subcontractor of King of Prussia-based Perfexion went down. Another client of the subcontractor may have left an application running that crowded the system, said chief information officer Don Jacobs. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction PA ESS Indiana County. M100 optical scanners counted the number of ballots wrong. The number of ballots was an even number in 61 of 69 precincts, suggesting that the scanners counted each sheet of the 2-sheet ballot as a separate ballot. But that explanation doesn't account for a report of 642 ballots cast by 237 registered voters at Cherryhill 1. Even full turnout would have been just 474 pieces of paper. Election workers are still trying to find out what happened. Story Archive
11/6/2009 Machine malfunction PA ESS Lackawanna County. Flawed ballot programming on the M100 ballot scanners resulted in a failure to count up to 2,452 straight-party votes for two city candidates. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
11/15/2006 Machine malfunction RI ESS Pawtucket. Disabled voters find AutoMARK difficult to use. Ballot-scanners don't accept the ballots. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction SC ESS One polling location in Mauldin, S.C., was forced to switch to paper ballots because of equipment troubles. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction SC ESS Problems were reported in a handful of precincts in two counties using electronic machines. Officials said voters were forced to switch to paper ballots while technicians got the ES&S iVotronic touch screens up and running within about 90 minutes. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction SC ESS Machines at about five precincts in Georgetown County were down when the polls first opened, and voters had to cast paper ballots. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction SC ESS Horry County. The Carolina Forest precinct had four voting machines for 2,003 voters, but one went down around noon, and poll manager Mary Baldwin said technicians were notified but were not able to fix it. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction SC Unilect Lancaster County. A malfunction stopped the computerized tally late Tuesday night about a third of the way through, and elections officials said they were unable to restart the procedure. After hours on the phone with technical support people from the manufacturer of their Patriot Unilect voting machines, a printout of each voter's ballot was successful, they said. However, results had to be counted by hand. Story Archive
11/8/2004 Machine malfunction SC Unilect The town of Lexington has 200 votes stuck in a Unilect Patriot electronic voting machine that malfunctioned and they can't figure out how to retrieve the data. Story Archive
11/10/2004 Machine malfunction SC Georgetown County. The initial count showed 64 more ballots than the recount on the Unilect Patriot electronic voting machines. "After Friday's recount, the number of total votes cast in the election changed from 25,848 to 25,784." 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
11/3/2006 Machine malfunction SC ESS Charleston County. ES&S iVotronics fail to allow voters to review their choices in contests where they can vote for more than one candidate -- in violation of HAVA. Story Archive
11/5/2006 Machine malfunction SC ESS Vote-switching on the ES&S iVotronics. Computer scientist's votes for one candidate were switched to another on the review screen. Story
11/13/2006 Machine malfunction SC ESS Greenville County. The county had problems with five of its approximately 1,000 iVotronic voting machines. Some of the machines had loose connections and another had power source problems. The repairs to the machines required a technician from ES&S to drive from Charleston on election night. Story Archive
11/13/2006 Machine malfunction SC Greenville County. The county had to count by hand at least 600 absentee ballots that optical scanners failed to count. Story Archive
11/20/2006 Machine malfunction SC ESS Kershaw County. ES&S ballot programming error in the iVotronics. The machines were set up to prompt for two votes in a "vote-for-one" contest. Story Archive
1/19/2008 Machine malfunction SC ESS Horry County. iVotronic touch screen machines. "Poll workers in Horry County tell CNN voting machines have been down since polls opened Saturday morning throughout the county — the machines are not reading an activation card." All 100 precincts in the county have been affected. Some voters have been turned away when paper ballots ran out. Story Archive Story2 Archive2 Story3
1/20/2008 Machine malfunction SC ESS Horry County. iVotronics touch screen machines refused to print results at the end of the day. "The machines' pre-programmed poll-closing time was incorrect, and technicians had to follow a multi-step procedure to manually shut them off before counting could begin. The closing date for the machines was set for Jan. 26, the date of the Democratic primary, instead of Saturday night." Story Archive
1/22/2008 Machine malfunction SC ESS Florence County. As in Horry County, the iVotronic touch screen machines were set to close on the wrong date and would not report the results until they were reprogrammed for the correct date. Story Archive
4/1/2008 Machine malfunction SC ESS Richland County. An iVotronic e-voting machine was set up incorrectly in Ward 17, allowing voters to vote for candidates that were not supposed to be on their ballots. About 95 people voted before the problem was noticed and the machine was replaced. 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

11/5/2008 Machine malfunction SC ESS Charleston County. Problems uploading data from the iVotronic touch screen machines caused officials to enter the data by hand into the central system. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
6/4/2009 Machine malfunction SD ESS Pennington County. The ES&S tabulation software added nearly 5,000 votes to the total as votes from the three M650 scanners were combined. When the problem was corrected, the total number of votes was cut nearly in half. With the correction also, a winner emerged in the Ward 4 Rapid City Council post, so no runoff is needed. Story Archive
10/14/2004 Machine malfunction TN Danaher Loudon County. Danaher DRE. Harp Enterprises incorrectly programmed a lockout condition, which prevented voters in District 2 from voting on all the races that should have been available to them.
Story Archive
10/14/2004 Machine malfunction TN Danaher Loudon County. Danaher DRE. Inadequate testing. Pre-election testing failed to check for a lockout condition in the ballot programming, which prevented voters in District 2 from voting on all the races that should have been available to them.
Story Archive
10/18/2006 Machine malfunction TN Diebold Shelby County. Two women were given the wrong ballot for the Diebold touch screen. For one, the Germantown races -- not her town -- appeared first. For the other, those races appeared last. When she looked for a poll worker to inform about the problem, the machine timed out, cancelled her ballot, blanked the screen, and ejected her voter card. With no proof that her ballot had been cancelled, she was not allowed to vote a regular ballot, but only given a provisional ballot. Story Archive
11/2/2006 Machine malfunction TN Hart InterCivic Sullivan County. The control device (Judges Booth Controller - JBC) for Hart InterCivic eSlate voting machines shut down after 10,000 ballots were cast in early voting. The JBC would hold no more ballots in its memory. Voters waited while the county replaced the machine. Officials don't expect this problem on election day since no precincts have 10,000 voters. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction TN ESS Williamson County. Only two ES&S iVotronic touch screens worked in Grassland precinct. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction TN ESS Hawkins County. ES&S iVotronic touch screens didn't work. Most of the voting machines were down until noon, according to Peggy Fleenor, the county's election administrator. The problem resulted after officials ran a program before opening to clear the vote totals to zero. Story Archive
11/9/2006 Machine malfunction TN Hart InterCivic Knox County. Circuitry in a Hart InterCivic eSlate fails, calling into question over 2600 e-ballots. Knox County Election Commission Chair Pamela Reeves explains what happened to the machine. "Apparently, what it did was it smoked. I don't know what caused it to smoke, but it was literally smoking. So they unhooked it at the time. Of course, we don't read the votes and we didn't know there was a problem until we went to read the votes Tuesday night." Story Archive
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
10/22/2008 Machine malfunction TN Hart InterCivic Knox County. The eSlate electronic voting machine displays only the first three letters of the selected candidate's name on the review screen. So, people voting for Obama found that the review screen said they voted for "Electors for BAR". This is particularly egregious since another candidate for president is Bob Barr, so voters aren't sure who they are voting for. 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.

10/25/2008 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
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction TN Diebold Shelby County. The Barlett municipal ballot did not load onto the machines in some polling places, preventing many Barlett voters from being able to vote in the city election. Story Archive
10/7/2009 Machine malfunction TN ESS Williamson County. Complaints of vote-flipping on the touch screen machine. One candidate's supporter tried to vote for him, but the machine highlighted a different candidate's name. Story Archive
Records: 481-520 of 616
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