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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
11/2/2006 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
11/2/2006 Poor design TN Marble Falls. Voting on computers confuses voters, who are used to paper ballots. "In the old days, we used paper ballots. Sometimes we used more than one ballot so I thought I need to cast this ballot, then the Marble Falls propositions would come up, then I could vote on that. I pushed the button to cast the ballot, it said I had done everything. I was finished," Story
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 These three errors in the summary were corrected by me before the ballot was submitted and my card withdrawn.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

11/1/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Pulaski County. Vote-switching from Republican to Democrat SoS candidate on ES&S iVotronic. “I had a voter from Jacksonville call me to say that he and his wife tried to vote for me (on different machines) four different times but each time they selected my name, my opponent’s name popped up on the touch screen,” says Jim Lagrone, Republican candidate for Arkansas Secretary of State. “On the fifth try, it finally worked for both of them." Story
11/1/2006 E-pollbook NM Across the state. The computer system used to verify voter registrations at early voting sites across the state malfunctioned, causing major problems and long lines. Story Archive
11/1/2006 Voter intimidation NY Westchester County. Republican lawyers filed challenges to nearly 6,000 registered voters the previous Friday. Republican state Sen. Nicholas Spano asked the Westchester County Board of Elections not to send police officers to any voters' homes until after Nov. 7, to ensure that they are not intimidated into not voting. It appears that one/third of the challenged voters are minorities. Story Archive
11/1/2006 Deceptive practices PA Repeated "robo" phone calls made to voters about Lois Murphy, Democratic challenger to incumbent GOP Rep. Jim Gerlach, causing voters to become annoyed with Murphy. But the calls were made by the National Republican Congressional Committee. Story Archive
11/1/2006 E-pollbook TX Denton County. A county server that identifies and qualifies voters malfunctioned. A lack of paper ballot backups prevented at least one woman from voting. Story Archive
10/31/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Garland County. Ballot programming error on the ES&S Personal Electronic Ballot (PEB) which brings up a voter's ballot on the iVotronic. "When we got to the point of trying to do our three amendments, everything just scrambled," said Garland County Election Commissioner Charles Tapp. A similar problem occurred in Sebastian County. Both these counties have chosen to do their own ballot programming. A similar problem also occurred in Benton County, which has ES&S do the ballot programming. Story Archive
10/30/2006 Machine malfunction IN MicroVote Monroe County, using the MicroVote touch screen. "In Monroe County, a glitch in how the ballots are read could confuse certain straight-party voters, officials said. So poll workers plan to advise those voters on exactly what their vote will mean and how to cast it." Story Archive
10/29/2006 Ballot printing WA Skagit County. Ballots were printed without the legally required text describing initiatives. This was discovered only when a voter in Precinct 125 noticed it and reported it to the county and the Secretary of State. Story Details
10/28/2006 Machine malfunction FL ESS Broward County. Vote-switching to Republicans by the ES&S iVotronics. "Debra A. Reed voted with her boss on Wednesday at African-American Research Library and Cultural Center near Fort Lauderdale. Her vote went smoothly, but boss Gary Rudolf called her over to look at what was happening on his machine. He touched the screen for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis, a Democrat, but the review screen repeatedly registered the Republican, Charlie Crist." Story Archive
10/28/2006 Machine malfunction FL ESS Miami-Dade County. Vote-switching to Republicans by ES&S iVotronics. "Mauricio Raponi wanted to vote for Democrats across the board at the Lemon City Library in Miami on Thursday. But each time he hit the button next to the candidate, the Republican choice showed up. Raponi, 53, persevered until the machine worked. Then he alerted a poll worker." Story Archive
10/28/2006 Ballot printing MI Monroe County. Absentee voters cast one ballot, then another corrected ballot. Ballots supplied by the state to Monroe County had misaligned party titles and fill-in ovals in a section that allows voting by straight party ticket. Some officials were concerned that the misalignment would confuse voters and cause some to unintentionally vote straight party - for the wrong party. New ballots were sent out and the officials are hoping citizens redo their ballots and send them in. 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
10/27/2006 Ballot printing CA Sequoia Ventura County. Sequoia printed absentee ballots wrong for another region in the county (as well as in Denver CO). "In the Conejo Valley, at least three voters in the past week said their cards did not show races for the Ventura County Community College District Area 2, Conejo Valley Unified School District and the Conejo Recreation and Park District, Browning said. Instead, they were asked to vote for candidates seeking spots on the Casitas Municipal Water District board, which serves the Ojai Valley. " Story Archive
10/27/2006 Machine malfunction FL ESS Broward County - Vote-switching to Republicans by ES&S iVotronic. "After casting her votes, Marek, a Democrat, was surprised to see name of Charlie Crist -- the Republican candidate for governor -- on the review screen. ... She said poll workers told her the machine had been problematic before, but that they had reprogrammed it, a process they repeated after speaking to her." Story Archive
10/27/2006 Ballot printing OH Miami County. Issue 5 was incorrectly referred to as a constitutional amendment, instead of a law, on the ballots. Story
10/26/2006 Machine malfunction AR ESS Washington County. Ballot programming error. The voter-verifiable paper record printed the wrong district for the voter's choice. The candidate himself noticed that his paper record said he was in District 87, rather than the correct District 92. ES&S is reprogramming the ballots so the record will print the correct District. Election Coordinator Nancy Varvil said, "This never affected the tallying of the votes. The fix just puts the correct district on the audit trail.” Story Archive
10/26/2006 Ballot printing CA Sequoia Ventura County. Ojai Valley absentee ballots (printed and sent by Sequoia Voting Systems) are missing the contest for Casitas Municipal Water District. Instead they have the contest for Ventura County Board of Supervisors' Fourth District race — in Simi Valley. The mix-up also eliminated the Ojai Unified School District race from the ballot. Story Archive
10/26/2006 Paper ballots (late) CA San Mateo County officials are two weeks late mailing absentee ballots. Story
10/26/2006 Machine malfunction MD Diebold It is now revealed that Diebold replaced 4,700 system boards in Maryland's touch screen machines in 2005 to eliminate the "screen freezes" that have occurred since the machines were purchased in 2002. "The screen freezes do not cause votes to be lost, officials said." Both Diebold and Linda Lamone kept this information from the state board of elections. 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
10/25/2006 Fraud FL Miami-Dade County. People claiming to be associated with the Democratic congressional candidate Raul Martinez campaign are picking up absentee ballots from Martinez supporters. The Martinez campaign denies that they are doing this. Some of those ballots have not been turned into the election office, and there are questions about whether Martinez' opponent is managing this operation. Story Archive
10/25/2006 Machine malfunction FL ESS Broward County. Some ES&S iVotronic touch screen machines "stopped working briefly and had to be restarted because of high-volume use, Cooney said. No votes were lost." Mary Cooney is the spokeswoman for the Supervisor of Elections.
''When some voters went to touch a choice for a precinct or candidate we would have to stop the voter, start again and then it would be fine,'' Cooney said. ``It hasn't slowed anyone down.'' Story Archive
10/25/2006 Machine malfunction FL Sarasota County. Early voting hit an afternoon slowdown Tuesday as problems with a county computer system prevented elections workers from looking up voters' information. Elections workers were unable to get into a database containing voters' registration numbers, voting histories, and information about whether a voter received an absentee ballot. Story Archive
10/24/2006 Poor design CA Hart InterCivic San Mateo County. Trained personnel inputting votes on the eSlate voting machine made errors on ballots in 40% of the precincts in the first day of testing, even with a voter-verifiable paper audit trail. David Tom, county elections manager, said, "The equipment was new to them, so there was a higher number of errors than we would like." Voting advocates, however, said the high prevalence of errors in using the machines — which required the elections department to extend the number of test days from three to six — raises concerns about whether voters will be able to operate the eSlate machines, made by Hart InterCivic. Story Archive
10/24/2006 Vote suppression TX Hidalgo County (Peñitas and Palmview) - Two Hidalgo County cities that waited until Friday to request special machines for disabled voters are now forced to conduct early voting without the state-mandated consoles. A thief stole a voting machine outfitted for disabled voters out of a city grant-writing consultant's garage. Story
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
10/21/2006 Machine malfunction IN VTI Randolph County. Voting Technologies Internation (VTI) e-voting machines fail to tabulate correctly -- first in the primary, then in testing for the general election. Story Archive
10/20/2006 Paper ballots (late) MD Diebold Local officials in four major Maryland jurisdictions say ballots, printed by Diebold, are unusually late. "Voters are requesting absentee ballots in large numbers this year because of glitches that have plagued the new electronic voting machines built by Diebold Elections Systems Inc." Local officials say the ballots normally arrive 30 days before the election. State board of elections agrees with Diebold, who says the ballots aren't late. Story Archive

October 26. Ballots are "trickling in" from Diebold. Some jurisdictions have half what they need. Some only have 20%. "It's really terrible," said Robert J. Antonetti Sr., elections administrator in Prince George's County. "Time is running out. It's going to deny people the right to vote." Story Archive

10/20/2006 Ballot printing OH ESS Summit County. A printer certified by ES&S sent 22,000 misprinted ballots to the county. Already late, the delay will make absentee voters wait even longer for their ballots. "When the ballots arrived at the Summit County Board of Elections on Thursday, staff members discovered the second page was fraught with typographical errors." No QA at the printer, it appears. Story Archive

10/21/06 - Ballot are supposed to arrive today. The same typographical errors were found on the poll-site ballots, so they will be reprinted, too. A "computer problem" cause the printing error. Story Archive

10/19/2006 Deceptive practices CA Orange County. GOP congressional candidate is alleged to have sent a letter threatening Hispanic immigrant voters with arrest. County GOP called for his withdrawal. 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
10/13/2006 Registration fraud NV Las Vegas, Washoe County. An employee of a private voter registration firm alleges that his bosses trashed registration forms filled out by Democratic voters because they only wanted to sign up Republican voters. Eric Russell worked for a company called Voters Outreach of America, along with 300 other people. He says he got into a beef with the company over a pay dispute, and witnessed his bosses ripping up registration forms that had been filed by democrats. "They were thrown away in the trash. I grabbed them out," said Eric Russell. One of those forms belonged to Daren Gray, who was shocked to learn that the re-registration form he filled out was never turned in. Story
10/12/2006 Ballot printing CO Sequoia Denver. Sequoia Voting Systems, printed 44,000 absentee ballots with the "yes" and "no" boxes transposed on the measure for Referendum F, a measure that would change the way recall elections are handled. "Election officials said they had proofed the ballot, and the proof did not contain the error. Somehow, the proof was changed, said commission spokesman Alton Dillard." Story Archive

Oct. 27 - The solution. Duplication 30,000 ballots before scanning them. Sequoia, to blame for the error, won't be supplying additional machines to count the transposed yes/no ballots. "These are kind of large, expensive machines, and they don't just have a whole bunch of them sitting around," Story Archive

Oct 28. A new decision. Officials decide the potential for human error in duplicating so many ballots is too high. They will program some of the ballot scanners to read the misprinted ballots. Story

10/12/2006 Ballot printing CO Sequoia Denver. Sequoia's second printing error was instructing voters to use 24 cents less postage than necessary to return the ballots. Story Archive
10/11/2006 Ballot printing MI Ottawa County. 170,000 ballots were printed with a typo - the "L" was left out of Public in a proposed constitutional amendment. Story Archive
9/19/2006 Poor design AR ESS Sebastian County Clerk says the ES&S iVotronic machines, purported to be accessible to people with disabilities, aren't. The new electronic iVotronics voting machines supplied by Election Systems and Software are not user-friendly for the visually or hearing impaired, she said. During the primary election, she said, a visually impaired voter became frustrated when he had difficulty following the lengthy and complicated screen navigation instructions. Story Archive
8/9/2006 Machine malfunction CO Sequoia Denver County. Paper printout was wrong on the Sequoia Edge. Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff was the second person to try to vote on a new machine at Washington Park, but his vote for himself did not print properly. Picture Story Archive
Records: 721-760 of 1280
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