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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
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction CA Sequoia Reported to VotersUnite: I arrived at my polling place in the Mission district of San Francisco at 9:45 a.m. on 11/4/2008 I was told that the machine that tally's the votes [Sequoia Insight optical scanner] was broken and that they were waiting for a new one to arrive.
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction CT Diebold Torrington in Litchfield County. Diebold optical scanners wouldn't read the memory cards required to scan the ballots. Prepared for this problem, officials had back up cards ready at every precinct. [Kudos to them!] Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Palm Beach County. The Insight optical scanner jammed at one polling place for much of the morning. Two other precincts reported problems (undescribed). Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction FL Optical scan machine failures are one of the leading issues facing voters in counties across Florida, according to Election Protection. Voters have reported malfunctioning optical scan machines and massive machine breakdowns in over 35 separate precincts and 25 counties in some of the most populous counties including Orange, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, and Sarasota. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Manatee County. When officials attempt to upload the vote data from memory cards into the central tabulator, they get an error message that prevents them from tallying the votes. About 2/3 of the county's ballots are affected. Officials say this has not happened before. Story Archive

Update 11/5/08. As many as 50,000 ballots are not yet counted. The results of the election could be delayed in several races, including Palmetto mayor and commission seats, a Bradenton Beach commission seat and in the multi-county races for Florida House District 69 and the public defenderís post. Story Archive

Update 11/5/08. Diebold/Premier eventually figured out the problem was caused by the software's inability to handle a candidate dropping out of a small race for fire commissioner after the computer program was written. Story Archive Story2 Archive2

Update 11/6/08. A simple change in one Manatee County race, where a candidate dropped out last week, caused the Premier software program known as GEMS to lock up. That prevented the counting of 46,000 ballots on Tuesday night, Supervisor of Elections Bob Sweat said. Story3 Archive3

11/4/2008 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Fulton County (Atlanta). In South Fulton County, all voting machines at the Bible Way Ministries precinct went down for about an hour and then the polling place ran out of printed ballots and paper provisional ballots. The voting machines were working again an hour later. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction IL Sequoia Reported to VotersUnite -- vote-flipping on the Edge touch screen machine: I was at my polling place in Chicago, St. Ignatias Church on Glenwood Avenue. The worker informed me that when people voted on the machine at the start of the day, the voting machine malfunctioned. When someone pressed Obama, the machine recorded they actually voted for McCain. This was reported to City Hall; the machine was shut down and paper ballots are not being used.
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction KY Hart InterCivic Kenton County. The Kenton County Board of Elections has halted voting on the eSlate electronic voting machines (supplied and maintained by Harp Election Services) because they are not properly recording straight-ticket voting. Voters complained that straight-ticket voting in the State Senate race between Republican incumbent Jack Westwood and Democrat Kathy Groob was not being counted. Story Archive

Update: A judge ordered the county to shut down 108 eSlate machines. The malfunctions could affect the tightly contested state Senate race. Story Archive Story2

Update 11/9/08: Poll workers had continued to allow voters to use the machines so the county had to separate out the straight party votes. In an unusual display of accountability, Harp Election Services accepted responsibility for misprogramming the machines, and Kenton County Clerk Rodney Eldridge accepted responsibility for not checking the operation of the straight-party selections on the machine before the election. Story Archive

11/4/2008 Machine malfunction MD Diebold Prince George County. Voters had to wait up to four hours when only two of the six touch screen voting machines were in operation at Towers of Westchester Park Building in College Park. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction ME Cumberland County. A memory card malfunctioned in one of the three tabulation machines. Because election officials were unsure which machines had processed the absentee ballots, they decided to recount all of 6000 absentee ballots to be safe. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction MI The NAACP reports malfunctioning voter machines in 10 Michigan precincts statewide have caused long waits and in some cases, people gave up waiting and left without voting. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction MN ESS Hennepin County. M-100 Optical scanners aren't working at Brooklyn Center and Buffalo. In Buffalo, lines backed up at the voting machines, despite no lines at the booths. The machine was spitting out ballots and returning error messages. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Essex County. One of three AVC Advantage electronic voting machines malfunctioned at George Washington Carver elementary school. During the malfunction about 50 voters were asked to vote on paper.

When two machines malfunctioned at Conklin Hall near the Rutgers-Newark campus, voters were turned away and asked to come back later after the machines were replaced. Story Archive

11/4/2008 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Hudson County. Votes cast on AVC Advantage paperless electronic voting machine are stored on cartridges. The cartridge readers in several municipalities, including Bayonne, Union City, Secaucus, and West New York aren't working. County Clerk Barbara Netchert said her office's computer experts visited all the local clerks' offices last week and the readers were working. But now that it's game day, the system has collapsed. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Tompkins County. One of the ballot marking machines intended for voters with disabilities froze up during the instruction phase and could not be used. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction OH ESS Franklin County. Vote-flipping reported on the iVotronic touch screen machine. One woman reported that the iVotronic flipped her vote for President. A man reported that it flipped 75% of his votes, but he caught the errors on the review screen and corrected them. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction OH ESS Franklin County. A man who voted in Grove City said the iVotronic touch screen machine shut down on him, forcing him to cast his ballot after voting on only three of eight pages. He said the same thing happened to his wife. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction OH ESS Knox County. Obama and McCain were missing from the ballots on one of the iVotronic touch screen machines at one precinct. The machine was out of order for a time because it would only cast ballots for independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction OH ESS Ohio County. Serious calibration problems with the iVotronic touch screen machines. Poll workers have to calibrate after about 10 voters. Toni Chieffalo, elections coordinator for Ohio County said, "Our poll workers were taught they need to calibrate all day long. After 10 or so voters, the machines go out of line. It takes two minutes to calibrate." Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Stark County. Some touch screen machines didn't print the voter-verifiable paper record and were taken out of service. Others were broken down (apparently paper jams). Poll workers handed out paper ballots, but failed to give some voters both pages of the ballot. Some voters deposited the first page and do not get another chance to vote the second page. Story Archive
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction PA Diebold Northumberland County. Early Tuesday, at about 7:30 a.m., poll workers discovered that voters who cast a straight-party ticket on the paperless electronic voting machine could not see a summary of the candidates they voted for on the review screen. The machines were impounded. Story Archive Story2
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
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
11/4/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Marion County. The system quit tabulating around 7:30 pm when the clerks tried to feed in the results of early voting. Officials don't know why. Story Archive
11/1/2008 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machine. "three more voters told Guilford County GOP Chairman Bill Wright that machines switched presidential votes at Pleasant Garden Town Hall and Friendly Center in Greensboro. With help, voters corrected their ballots." Story Archive
10/31/2008 Machine malfunction FL Sequoia Palm Beach County. High-speed optical scanners (400C) are reading the creases in absentee ballots as votes. Overvotes are being rejected and duplicated on unfolded ballots for re-scanning. (The article doesn't mention creases improperly read without causing an overvote.) Story Archive

Update 10/03/08. State Representative Mary Brandenburg requested a hand count of her race, which is on the crease on some ballots. Both Sequoia and the elections office acknowledged that if the crease could cause the machine to count a vote in that race even if the voter did not vote, but the state declined to allow a hand count. The County Board said the crease could be used for a challenge. Story Archive Story2 Archive2

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
10/29/2008 Machine malfunction CO Diebold Adams County. Vote-flipping from Democratic state Senate candidate to her Republican opponent on the Diebold/Premier touch screen voting machine. After this happened three times, she was allowed to vote on another machine. The machine has been quarantined. 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
10/28/2008 Machine malfunction TX ESS Jefferson County. Vote-flipping from Obama to McCain on the iVotronic touch screen machine. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
10/28/2008 Machine malfunction WI ESS Dane County (Madison). Malfunctioning AutoMark ballot marker prevents a blind woman from casting her vote privately. First it displayed an error message. Then it ran out of ink and wouldn't print the ballot. The county's chapter of the National Federation of the Blind has received other calls about this same problem. Story Archive
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
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

10/26/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Monongalia and Greenbrier Counties. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machines. From the article: "In recent days, at least 14 voters from Jackson, Putnam, Berkeley, Ohio, Monongalia and Greenbrier counties have told The Charleston Gazette that ES&S machines switched their votes from Democratic to Republican candidates. No one has contacted The Gazette to say a voting machine flipped Republican votes to Democratic candidates. In each case, county poll workers helped the voters correct their ballots. But several worried that others might not notice switched votes." Story Archive Story2 Archive2
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
10/23/2008 Machine malfunction WV ESS Berkeley County. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen voting machines. Two voters in Berkeley County, West Virginia, reported that their votes for Obama were "switched" to McCain on iVotronic DRE machines, although both spotted the problem and were able to fix it after multiple tries. Story Archive

Update 10/23/08. More voters complain of vote-flipping from Obama to McCain. 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

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.

Records: 81-120 of 616
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