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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
10/28/2008 Machine malfunction TX ESS Jefferson County. Vote-flipping from Obama to McCain on the iVotronic touch screen machine. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
10/29/2008 Machine malfunction TX Diebold Collin County. Vote-flipping on the touch screen voting machine. Straight-party Democratic vote switched to Republican. Story Archive
10/29/2008 Machine malfunction TX Hart InterCivic Galveston County. Vote-flipping on the eSlate electronic voting machine. Straight-party Democratic vote switched to Republican presidential candidate. Story Archive
10/31/2008 Machine malfunction TX Jefferson County. District 22 State Representative Joe Deshotel told KBMT 12 news he voted for each candidate individually (on the iVotronic touch screen machine) and noticed that after he made his selection his vote for Barack Obama had changed to John McCain. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction TX Hart Intercivic Galveston County. The election management system reported that all votes had been counted, when less than half had been counted. Officials thought this was because the system was based on 121 precincts, rather than the 40 super-precincts (voting centers) used in the election. Story Archive.
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction US Voters nationwide reported some 1,100 problems with electronic voting machines on Tuesday, including trouble choosing their intended candidates. Story
11/16/2004 Machine malfunction UT Utah County. Improperly programmed and inadequately tested punch card machines failed to count 33,000 straight-party votes. Once the problem was corrected and votes counted, Bush' lead went from 66% to 85% in the county. Republicans in other races also posted significant gains. Story1 Archive1 Story2 Archive2
11/16/2004 Machine malfunction UT Utah County. Because of inadequate testing, the county failed to find that the punch card readers were programmed incorrectly. "The test procedure would not have picked [the problem up] because the procedure itself was insufficient," Commissioner Jerry Grover explained. Story Archive
11/29/2004 Machine malfunction UT Grand County. "Despite glowing reviews from other parts of the country and a public relations campaign by Diebold Corp. lauding its equipment, the Grand County Council has passed along what it calls six extreme examples of inaccuracy in the equipment. The examples "are only a fraction of the errors that have surfaced regarding use of this new voting equipment," states a letter from the council to the state Election Voting Equipment Selection Committee." (touch screens) Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction UT Diebold Utah and Salt Lake Counties. Diebold touch screen machines weren't operating when the polls opened at several polling places in these counties and other areas. In some locations, all the machines were down. Voters waited up to 1-1/2 hours. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction UT Diebold Utah and Salt Lake Counties. Voter access card encoders for the Diebold touch screens weren't working in at least 32 of 118 polling locations, causing long lines, waits up to two hours, and voters turned away. Story Archive Story2 Archive2 Story3 Archive3
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction UT Diebold Salt Lake. Part of the text of Proposition 2 didn't show up on the Diebold touch screen. Story Archive
11/7/2006 Machine malfunction UT Diebold Utah County. Machines used to program Diebold voter access cards malfunctioned. After consulting with the maker of the touch-screen machines, Utah County has begun using one electronic machine at each polling location to program the voter access cards. That means every location will be short one machine - on a day when long lines are already expected. Story
10/22/2008 Machine malfunction UT Diebold Washington County. Diebold/Premier touch screens weren't working. Voters were given paper ballots until the machines were repaired within a couple of hours. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction UT Diebold Weber County (Ogden). Automatic ballot feeders in the optical scanners jammed. That malfunction and a software problem that didn't allow both scanners to run at the same time delayed the counting of ballots, taking over 6 hours to count 6,232 ballots. Election workers had to feed the ballots through the machine one at a time. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction VA Richmond. One of the machines included the wrong candidates for Congress. The ballot was supposed to include 3rd District Congressman Bobby Scott and challenger Winsome Sears. Instead it listed the 7th district candidates. Some voters were asked to use paper ballots but they said the ballots ran out. It was unclear how many people might have voted for the wrong candidates. Story1 Archive Story2 (edited since first published)
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction VA Roanoke's city registrar's office fielded several calls about problems with several electronic machines, which included screen glitches and power source difficulties. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction VA Unilect Two Unilect voting machines went down at Cardova precinct for about 30 minutes, creating long lines. Those waiting were told that people were voting too fast and machines didn't have time to reset. In Westmoreland, all four machines at the 2nd District precinct at Hague were down for an hour while Unilect manager Wout J. Kymmell worked on the problem. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction VA AVS At the Crestwood Elementary School in Fairfax County, for example, two of the four (WINVote) touch-screen voting machines malfunctioned and some voters had to wait in line for an hour and a half before the problems were resolved. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction VA In Hanover County, just north of Richmond, all three machines in a polling place were out of service for an hour. 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
10/24/2006 Machine malfunction VA Hart InterCivic Alexandria, Falls Church, and Charlottesville. The review page on the Hart InterCivic eSlate (electronic voting machine) cuts off the last part of the candidates' names, as well as their party affiliation. For example, James H. "Jim" Webb appears as James H. "Jim", while James T. "Jim" Hurysz appears as James T."Jim". Officials attribute this to a larger font size. These jurisdictions have had this problem since purchasing the machines in 2002.
Editor's note: The eSlate does not allow voters to adjust the font size on the screen (as required by 2002 federal standards), so they are unable to read the last names of many candidates on the review screen where they confirm the accuracy of their votes. Story Archive Falls Church officials say they complained about the problem a year ago and Hart InterCivic did nothing to fix it. Story Archive
11/9/2006 Machine malfunction VA AVS Fairfax County. Vote-switching on the WINVote e-voting machines. Voters report that when they touch the screen for one U.S. Senate candidate, the other would be selected. Archive
11/8/2007 Machine malfunction VA Sequoia Scott County. More than 30 of the county's 45 electronic voting machines displayed errors instead of working properly when they first started up in the morning. The machines had been "upgraded" with new firmware that displays larger fonts, but the technician from Atlantic Election Services who installed the new firmware missed a step and the installation went awry.

AES managed to get one or two machines per precinct working. "Each machine required software changes, as well as a diagnostic check that took about 12 minutes." Software changes in the middle of an election! Story Archive Story2 Archive2

11/4/2008 Machine malfunction VA AVS Fairfax County. "A handful" of memory cards didn't work when the WinVote machines were opened. Paper ballots will be used until the problem is corrected. Story Archive
3/11/2009 Machine malfunction VA AVS Fairfax County. One of two WINvote paperless electronic voting machines broke down in one polling place while officials were tallying the votes. The malfunction left the outcome of the hotly contested race too close to call. Elections officials halted their efforts, sealed the malfunctioning machine and said they would resume their efforts to count the remaining ballots today. Story Archive

Update: 3/18/09. At the Fairfax County canvass, observers learned that among other problems, when the polls opened, the voting machine showed that there were no votes recorded -- which was as it should be. However, of those "zero" votes, three were for Republican John Cook, two for Democratic Ilryong Moon, one for independent Carey C. Campbell and one for a write-in candidate. Despite the obvious problem that there were seven unexplained votes at the beginning of the day and a mismatch of hundreds of votes at the end of the day, the county Board of Elections certified the results. Story Archive Story2 Archive2

6/10/2009 Machine malfunction VA AVS Fairfax County. John McCann, 54, an attorney who is blind, said the audio technology malfunctioned on the machine he was using. Fairfax County uses the AVS WinVote paperless electronic voting machine, purported to be accessible. Story Archive
11/3/2009 Machine malfunction VA Sequoia Essex, Somerset and Gloucester counties. A "handfull" of Sequoia AVC Advantage e-voting machines malfunctioned at start up in all three counties. Story Archive
11/3/2009 Machine malfunction VA A voter reports that the touch screen machine flipped votes for Lt Gov and Attorney General from Democratic to Republican. The summary screen was wrong and the only choice the voter saw was the Next button. The voter received assistance from the poll worker.
11/3/2009 Machine malfunction VA Unilect Augusta County. After just 5 votes a Unilect Patriot voting machine had to be shut down because of a malfunction. Two machines were left to carry the load. Story Archive
11/13/2009 Machine malfunction VA Diebold Lancaster County. Multiple AccuVote ballot scanners malfunctioned. They didn't process the votes, nor would they print poll tapes. Story Archive
11/2/2004 Machine malfunction WA Sequoia Snohomish County. Voters in at least four polling precincts in Snohomish County said they have encountered problems with the Sequoia electronic voting machines. When they touched the screen to vote for a candidate, an indicator showed they had selected the opposing candidate. It took at least four attempts before the indicator showed the correct candidate. Story Archive
11/16/2004 Machine malfunction WA ESS Grays Harbor County. Elections officials started recounting about 28,000 ballots on Tuesday after the ES&S Unity reporting system showed too many votes. After ballots were counted, the results were saved on computer disks and downloaded into another computer to keep a running tally. Some of the disks were apparently downloaded twice by mistake. The Unity software is supposed to prevent that from happening. Story1 Archive1 Story2 Archive2
12/1/2004 Machine malfunction WA ESS Skagit County. An investigation of anomalies in the recount of the governor's race led county officials to discover, from ES&S, that a vote is counted incorrectly in approximately 1 in 10,000 ovals read by their high-speed optical scanner. Since the governor's race had four options, the estimate is that 1 in 2500 votes was counted incorrectly. Votes counted incorrectly in Skagit County alone amount to half the margin between the top two candidates. Story Archive
11/6/2008 Machine malfunction WA Sequoia Pierce County. When the office ran the new voting tabulation softwareTuesday night to count the ranked choice voting ballots, it was so slow that technicians had to add memory to the computer system. Story Archive
9/3/2009 Machine malfunction WA Diebold King County. County officials noticed that the new Premier scanners failed to read ovals that were lightly filled in or incompletely filled in. 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
2/19/2008 Machine malfunction WI ESS Milwaukee. Optech Eagle optical scanners jammed and rejected ballots at several precincts. Story Archive
Records: 561-600 of 616
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