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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
10/18/2004 Machine malfunction TX ESS Bexar County. iVotronics register incorrect votes. The theory is that voters inadvertently rested a hand on the screen.
Story Archive
10/21/2004 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Tarrant County. Machine froze when voter entered voter access code. Story Archive
10/22/2004 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Travis County. Voters who vote a straight party Democratic ticket see their presidential votes have changed to Bush on the review screen. Officials say the voters have caused this by pressing the wrong button on the second screen of the eSlate machine. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Harris County. Six of the 11 eSlate voting machines are down at Cullen Missionary Baptist Church in southeast Houston. The precinct judge says technicians have come out twice to repair them, but were unsuccessful. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Harris County. At least six of the E-slate voting machines weren't functioning when voters first arrived at a S.E Houston polling place. People (were) coming in at 7:30 and not leaving until 9. All 11 E-slate machines are working now, but it took three technicians to come out to the site and fix the problem. Officials told Eyewitness News it should have just taken one technician to do the repairs. There is still no word on what exactly was wrong with the equipment. Several other precincts were having problems with the E-slate machines as well. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction TX ESS Uncharged batteries in several ES&S touch-screen voting machines hampered early morning voting at a southeast Bexar County precinct for about two hours today, officials said. Poll workers at Sinclair Elementary School realized just before 7 a.m. that the voting machines were dead. They weren't booted up until two hours later. 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
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
11/11/2004 Machine malfunction TX Diebold Collin County. Diebold touch screen voting machine locked up on election day. County officials couldn't retrieve the results, so they sent the memory card to Diebold labs in Canada so technicians there could get the totals. The mere fact that a piece of Collin County's election record left the country should be cause for concern. [Note: Diebold Election Systems is located in McKinney, Texas, the county seat of Collin County, Texas.] 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
10/26/2006 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Travis County (Austin). Hart InterCivic eSlate chops off the last part of candidate names on the review screen. This is the same problem that occurred on the machines in Virginia. Officials have complained to the manufacturer for two years, yet they insist the votes are counted correctly.
"But it does require additional voter diligence in an already complicated special election. For instance, if voters want to double-check that they've picked the Republican or Democrat of their choice, it won't be obvious from the summary screen. A voter would have to know that "William E. 'Bill' " is Democrat Bill Moody, a Supreme Court Place 2 candidate. The summary screen doesn't list party affiliation." Story Archive
10/28/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Jefferson County. Vote-switching from Democrat to Republican on the ES&S iVotronic screen. "Friday night, KFDM reported about people who had cast straight Democratic ticket ballots, but the touch-screen machines indicated they had voted a straight Republican ticket. ... Saturday, KFDM spoke to another voter who says it's not just happening with straight ticket voting, he says it's happening on individual races as well, Jerry Stopher told us when he voted for a Democrat, the Republican's name was highlighted." Story Archive
11/2/2006 Machine malfunction TX Diebold Collin County - near Dallas. Vote-switching to Republicans. Diebold touch screens switch votes from Libertarian to Republican, and from Democrat to Republican.

"The machine I was using recorded a vote for a Republican three times instead of the Libertarian I chose in three cases for individuals.listed in succession on the screen. I was so shocked I spoke out-loud that the machine was not recording my votes, but giving my votes to a candidate I did not choose. I had to make three corrections in successive order to correct these three errors. I was even more shocked when the summary appeared. I saw that Perry, Dewhurst and Combs were being credited with votes I DID NOT CAST FOR ANY OF THEM! I am positive who I chose for those offices and Chris Bell was being denied the vote I cast. These three errors in the summary were corrected by me before the ballot was submitted and my card withdrawn. I will forever believe that the machine I was using was rigged to switch votes to Republicans." Story Archive

11/3/2006 Machine malfunction TX Diebold El Paso County. Vote-switching by Diebold touch screens. Review screens show the wrong choices - switching Democratic vote to Republican in at least one case. County attorney is investigating. Some voters had to correct the review screen three times, before it registered correctly. Story Archive Story2 Archive2

11/22/06 update. Problem logs requested by KTSM newschannel 9 show that, in the presence of an election judge, "a janitor in precinct 108 removed tamper seals and opened some voting machines." Story

11/4/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Williamson County. ES&S iVotronic failed pre-election testing when straight party selections did not record a vote for Precinct 3 Commissioner. The same problem occurred at the beginning of early voting, but it was corrected and no votes were affected, Stacy said. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Harris County (Houston). Three of the seven E-Slate voting machines at Lockhart Elementary school weren't working properly since the polls opened at 7 a.m. Two were inactive, one was "misnumbering itself." Technicians arrived 2-1/2 hours later. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Hidalgo County. ES&S-programmer error compiled votes for U.S. House race incorrectly. County election official caught the error early. Story Archive Story2 Archive2 Story3
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Comal County. Undefined problems occurred combining totals from ES&S Optech 3P Eagle scanner with the new iVotronic touch screens. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Tarrant County. Vote-switching. Some voters said they selected gubernatorial candidate Democrat Bell and the eSlate machine switched their vote to Republican Perry. The eSlate is not a touch screen machine. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Bexar County (San Antonio). Some ES&S iVotronic machines failed to work, and paper ballots weren't available. Voters across the country complained of flaws with electronic voting systems. Bexar County's elections administrator, Jacque Callanen, said that overall, the election locally went smoothly. Story Archive
11/8/2006 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Medina County. 420 people lost the opportunity to vote in the US Senate race, which was "inadvertently omitted" from some ballots (presumably on the eSlate). Story Archive
11/12/2006 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Nacogdoches County. Eight eSlate electronic voting machines malfunctioned on election day. One broke down while a voter was using it. Vendor technicians were called to fix it. Story Archive
11/15/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Williamson County. Williamson County spokeswoman Connie Watson said that computer software counted each electronic vote three times, making the initial reported vote total about 6,500 more than the actual total. Most of the votes in the county were cast on paper ballots. Story Archive
11/16/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Williamson County. iVotronic touch screen machines count every vote three times. Story Archive
11/19/2006 Machine malfunction TX ESS Smith County. The county's central tabulating computer failed on election night. An ES&S technician removed the hard drive and installed it in another computer, which was used to tally the votes. Paula Patterson, Smith County elections administrator, said, "Computers and other equipment can fail occasionally." Story
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
5/17/2007 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
11/12/2007 Machine malfunction TX ESS Wharton County. The voting machine, not voter error, not a calibration problem, switched votes.

When Jim Welch voted last Tuesday, he watched as the voting machine changed the vote he'd entered a few moments earlier. "What Welch witnessed was votes that registered CORRECTLY when he touched the screen, switching later to a different vote choice, when he was almost finished voting the full page.

"Welch was stunned to see a correctly marked vote take on a life of its own, hopping over to a different spot while he voted on other items. He called an elections worker over to show him the problem. The elections worker helped him re-vote the ballot, and both men watched as the vote registered correctly, but later spontaneously altered to shift to another ballot choice." Story

2/27/2008 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Travis County (Austin). eSlates were not "connected to the system" and had to be rebooted after one voter noticed an error message telling her "Reconnect to system to record vote." Story Archive
3/5/2008 Machine malfunction TX ESS Angelina County. Central tabulators couldn't read the vote-data cards from the M100 optical scanners. The precinct numbers labeled on the cards did not match the information inside the card, and the machines would not accept them. Acting Tax Assessor Thelma "Midget" Sherman conceded that there was a programming error down the line that could have been caught earlier. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
3/6/2008 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Travis County. Only one of about nine eSlate polling machines was working properly. A technician discovered that the machine responsible for printing out access codes for voters was broken. Voting resumed about 10 a.m. after the machine was shut down and replaced with a new one. Story Archive
4/19/2008 Machine malfunction TX ESS Angelina County. Errors are still not resolved in the tabulation of ballots scanned by the M-100 optical scanner and cast on the iVotronic e-voting machine, and collected by the ES&S "expert" technician. County officials are petitioning a judge to allow a recount. County District Attorney Ed Jones didn't have the exact numbers Friday, but gave amounts of discrepancies he thought were "close." Electronic votes from Box 13, which was at the Chambers Park rock house, were under-counted by 305 votes; Precinct 6 was over-counted by 573 votes; Precinct 11 was over-counted by 275 votes; and Precinct 11B was over-counted by 204 votes, Jones said. Story Archive

Update 6/7/08. A recount of the ballots from five precincts found 959 fewer votes than originally reported. The error had been caused by the technician who uploaded the results from each memory cartridge twice. Outcomes were not changed by the change in totals. Story Archive

5/19/2008 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Cass County. Flawed ballot programming from Hart InterCivic allowed voters who were not in District 1 to vote for the District 1 city council seat. Although only 41 residents of District 1 were signed in to vote, the number of combined votes received by the District 1 candidates was 198. The only way to remedy the situation is to have one of the candidates file suit to have the election overturned. Story Archive
10/20/2008 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Harris County (Houston). Vote-flipping on the eSlate. Some voters voted straight-ticket Democrat then discovered that the electronic voting machines indicated they had voted for John McCain in the presidential contest. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
10/21/2008 Machine malfunction TX ESS Dallas. A new type of vote-flipping in the straight-party function on the iVotronic touch screen machine. A voter voted straight-party, then attempted to deselect two of the judges in that party. When he deselected one candidate, the machine erroneously marked the opposing candidate. Story Archive
10/21/2008 Machine malfunction TX ESS Palo Pinto County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machine. A voter reported to VotersUnite that her straight Democratic ticket to a straight Republican ticket TWICE "right before my eyes!" The articles tell more and mention other voters with the same complaint. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
10/26/2008 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Brazoria County. Vote-flipping on the eSlate electronic voting machines. Straight-party vote flipped the vote for president. In other cases, a straight-party vote didn't select the president. Story Archive

One voter selected straight-party Democratic, then selected Obama for President separately, and McCain was selected instead. Story2 Archive2

10/27/2008 Machine malfunction TX Diebold El Paso County. Vote-flipping on the Diebold touch screen machine. Straight-party Democratic vote switched to all Republicans on the review screen. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
Records: 521-560 of 616
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