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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
11/6/2004 Machine malfunction PA Unilect Mercer County. Accuracy of the Unilect Patriot machines are in serious question. One machine recorded 51 votes for president out of 289 ballots cast. The county's Web site reports that 51,818 people cast ballots but 47,768 ballots were recorded in the presidential race, including 61 write-ins. About 4,000 votes could be unaccounted for. Story Archive
11/6/2004 Machine malfunction PA Mercer County. Glitches with electronic touch-screen voting machines occurred in about a dozen precincts in the county's southwestern corner. Story Archive
11/5/2004 Machine malfunction CA ESS San Francisco. Troubles began on Wednesday after the election when the ES&S software failed to accurately count votes in the city's new ranked-choice voting system, which eliminates the need for expensive runoff elections. the problem stemmed from a safeguard in the software that converts optical scans of ballot results into data that the computer system uses to calculate winners. The conversion software shutdown when the amount of data entering the system had reached a level set by the vendor. (This sounds similar to the Election Management Systems' 32,767 vote limit encountered in NC, and FL.) Story Archive
11/5/2004 Machine malfunction NE ESS Sarpy County. A computer problem doubled the votes in half the county's precincts, adding over 10,000 phantom votes to the totals. The county uses ES&S vote tallying software. As of 11/4, the cause had not been determined. The disc loaded correctly on one computer, but not on another. Story1 Story2 Archive1 Archive1
11/5/2004 Machine malfunction OH Danaher Columbus. A Danaher ELECTronic 1242 computer error with a voting machine cartridge gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in a Gahanna precinct. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct. A cartridge from one of three voting machines at the polling place generated a faulty number at a computerized reading station. Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections said the cartridge was retested Thursday and there were no problems. He couldn't explain why the computer reader malfunctioned. Story1 Story2Archive1
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction FL ESS Broward County. ES&S vote tabulating software used for absentee ballots "is not geared to count more than 32,000 votes in a precinct. So what happens when it gets to 32,000 is the software starts counting backward. Amendment 4 passed in Broward County by more than 240,000 votes rather than the 166,000-vote margin reported Wednesday night. ES&S has known about the problem for two years and done nothing about it. The same software is used in Martin and Miami-Dade Counties.Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction FL ESS Collier County. Central computer added test votes to the tally on the ES&S tabulation software. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Volusia County. Memory-card breakdowns in six machines left political contests in limbo for hours. The county had the memory cards inspected by Diebold this summer in preparation for the busy election season. Ion Sancho, the elections supervisor in Leon County, said officials with Diebold told him that the new, higher-capacity memory cards tend to have more glitches than older cards. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Seminole County. Memory card failures similar to Volusia County's. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction IN ESS LaPorte. Software flaw reported the total for every precinct to report 300 registered voters. That means the total number of voters for the county would be 22,200, although there are actually more than 79,000 registered voters. The county still doesn't know the cause of the problem and is waiting to get a patch from ES&S. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction MD Data transmission failures occurred in 14 precincts. Story

11/4/2004 Machine malfunction NC Unilect More than 4,500 Carteret County votes have been lost on a Unilect electronic voting machine. The vendor said it would hold 10,500 ballots. It would only hold 3,005 and 7,530 people cast their ballots on it. Story Archive

Nov. 30. Carteret County will hold another election to determine the winner of the agricultural commissioner's race. Story Archive

11/4/2004 Machine malfunction NC Mecklenburg County. Before the election, the county election office said 102,109 people voted early or returned valid absentee ballots. Unofficial results from election night showed 106,064 of those votes. Story Archive Machines mistallied.
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction NC ESS In Craven County, all vote totals in nine of the county's 26 precincts were electronically doubled, increasing the totals for president by 11,283 more than the number of votes cast. Correcting the mistake changed the outcome of at least one race. ES&S Votronic machines used. Automatic warning of double-counting didn't work. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction NC In Onslow County, a software error changed the order of finish in the race for seats on the county commission. The error didn't change who won the seats, just the order in which they finished. A floppy disk that compiles voting data from the counting machines was programmed incorrectly. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction NC In Yadkin County, about 1,000 ballots were accidentally counted twice. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction OH Knox County. Kenyon College student Maggie Hill appeared on the "Today Show" Wednesday morning. She was one of hundreds of students and other Gambier residents who waited for up to 10 hours to cast their votes. Observers in the Gambier precinct said there were only two voting machines for 1,300 voters. Each machine, they said, is designed to handle 20 voters per hour. Story
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
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction TX ESS Wichita County. More than 6,900 of about 26,000 ballots - mostly early votes - did not record votes for president with 10 of 52 precincts reporting. Similar problems were noted on all other races. Election officials believe ES&S machines are counting votes correctly but that computer programs that process results are malfunctioning. No one knows what the problem is. Story1 Story2 Archive1
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction CA Sacramento. Sacramento officials said they had sporadic trouble with the new scanning machines being used for the first time. By late Tuesday, nine of the 712 machines used countywide had to be replaced because they didn't work. One didn't have a power cord. Others had minor glitches. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Walker County. Delays began early in the day at the Chattanooga Valley precinct with problems with an encoder, which is used to program the voting cards, Walker Board of Elections member Terry Morgan said. Diebold, manufacturer of the electronic voting machines, did not program the encoder properly, he said. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction IA ESS Greene and Harrison Counties reported malfunctions in their ES&S Model 115 ballot-counting machines that delayed counting. Harrison County got its machine fixed shortly after midnight and resumed counting. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction MD Diebold Poll watchers report vote counts that did not match the check-in numbers. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction MD Diebold Nine voting machines ran out of battery power and nearly 40 votes may have been lost in Palm Beach County. The nine machines at a Boynton Beach precinct weren't plugged in properly, and their batteries wore down around 9:30 a.m. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction MD Diebold The software running on the touch-screen machines used across the state failed to record some votes correctly, jumped to other pages on the ballot without being prompted by the voter and inadvertently omitted some political races, according to TrueVoteMD. "We have received hundreds of calls from across the state," said the group?s co-director. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction MD Diebold A woman in Baltimore County pushed her selection for president and senator repeatedly, but couldn?t get the machine to register her choice properly. A man in Montgomery County said the machine skipped right past the presidential and senate races. A woman in Montgomery County tried to make her selection for the county school board, but the machine advanced to the next screen after she had chosen only half of the candidates. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction MT Flathead County. Errors in the programming for the optical scan tabulation system. Two precincts showed no opposition to I-147 (which would reverse the ban on using cyanide in mining). Next precinct scanned, same result. Then it got worse. New returns show a precinct voted well beyond the number of registered voters. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction OH ESS Mahoning County. The glass on top of one ES&S iVotronic electronic screen was too far from the screen, making it difficult for people to use their fingers to cast ballots. A screen went blank on a Youngstown voter while he cast his ballot. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction OH ESS Mahoning County. 20 to 30 ES&S iVotronic machines that needed to be recalibrated during the voting process because some votes for a candidate were being counted for that candidate's opponent. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction OH ESS Mahoning County. About a dozen ES&S iVotronic machines needed to be reset because they essentially froze. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction OH Toledo. At the Birmingham polling site in East Toledo, the sole machine broke down around 7 a.m. An hour later, when Ohio House Rep. Peter Ujvagi tried to cast his ballot, the poll worker told him to place his ballot in a secure slot so that it could be scanned in later. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction OH Toledo. Throughout the city, polling places reported an assortment of problems, ranging from technical trouble with Lucas County's leased optical-scan voting machines to confusion about precinct boundaries and questions over provisional balloting. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction OH Lucas County Election Director Paula Hicks-Hudson said the Diebold optical scan machines jammed during testing last week. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction OH Lucas County (Toledo). Technical problems snarled the process throughout the day. Jammed or inoperable voting machines were reported throughout the city. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction OH Knox County. Due to an equipment malfunction the wait was at least 1 1/2 hours long. Story
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction PA Mercer County. Computer software errors caused Unilect touch-screen voting machines to malfunction in about a dozen precincts Tuesday. Some machines never operated, some offered only black screens and some required voters to vote backwards, starting on the last page of the touch-screen system and working back to the front page. Some of those systems never came back on line. 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
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction TX ESS Wichita County. ES&S punch card machines failed to count votes in many races. Hand counts showed the extent of the errors. Story Archive
11/3/2004 Machine malfunction TX ESS Bexar County. Problems with 19 ES&S touchscreen units delayed the final tabulation until almost 6 a.m. Wednesday. The machines had to be brought to the county's warehouse, where their data was retrieved and counted. Story Archive
Records: 521-560 of 616
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