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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
11/23/2004 Malfeasance FL Palm Beach County. Review screen doesn't match selections. Poll worker agrees, after scrolling back through the selections, and tells voter to cast the ballot anyway. Story Archive
11/23/2004 Machine malfunction IN ESS Vanderburgh County. At several polling places, the number of people signing in to vote Nov. 2 exceeded the vote totals, while at other places votes outnumbered signatures. The county uses ES&S iVotronic touch screen machines. Story Archive
11/23/2004 Machine malfunction MD Diebold TrueVoteMD's trained election observers 201 machine malfunction in the 108 precincts they observed, which represent 6% of the state's precincts. Among the problems were 42 instances of machine crashes, 30 screen malfunctions, 17 instances when votes were switched on the screen, 37 problems with the ballot encoder, and 16 incidents in which the ballot was incorrect or incomplete. Story Archive
11/20/2004 Canvass anomalies NH Concord. A recount of one state House race showed 36 fewer votes than the original count. Story Archive
11/20/2004 Provisional ballots OH Stark County (Canton). The Election Board reluctantly followed the law and rejected provisional ballots cast at the wrong precinct in the right polling place. Up until this year, they remade a ballot that was cast in the wrong precinct, meaning that the person?s vote would be put toward the appropriate races in the correct precinct. Story Archive
11/19/2004 Malfeasance FL Pinellas County. 12 more uncounted ballots were found -- 2 ballots sitting in a box headed for storage, and 12 provisional ballots in a blue pouch in the loading area. Story Archive
11/19/2004 Malfeasance IN Vanderburgh County. County Clerk Marsha Abell estimates approximately 150 mailed-in absentee ballots were not counted because of handling errors, either by voters or by a temporary Election Office employee who was terminated. Some were not counted because they lacked the necessary two sets of initials, one each from a Republican and Democratic election worker. Story Archive
11/19/2004 Malfeasance OH Lawyers who have been documenting voting day problems in Ohio say they'll challenge the results of the presidential election as soon as the vote is official. The lawyers say documented cases of long lines, a shortage of machines and a pattern of problems in predominantly black neighborhoods are enough evidence to bring such a challenge. Story Archive
11/18/2004 Canvass anomalies FL Volusia County. Bev Harris alleges audit discrepancies, such as precinct-based Election Day results that differ from last week's final tally, and plans to inspect ballots from as many as 50 precincts. Story1 Archive1 Story2
11/18/2004 Canvass anomalies FL Broward County. University of California's Berkeley Quantitative Methods Research Team released a statistical study - the sole method available to monitor the accuracy of e-voting - reporting irregularities associated with electronic voting machines may have awarded 130,000-260,000 or more excess votes to President George W. Bush in Florida in the 2004 presidential election. Story Archive
11/18/2004 Canvass anomalies NC Gaston County. The three-member Board of Elections discovered about 75 new votes in each contested race during the recount Tuesday. They counted the ballots again Wednesday and confirmed the additional votes. All said they could not explain the change. Story Archive
11/18/2004 Canvass anomalies NC Gaston County. The number of recorded votes and voters don't match in more than half of the precincts. The discrepancies raise the possibility that some people could have voted twice, while others might have cast ballots that were not counted. Some ballots also might not have been recorded because people pulled their voting cards too quickly from the voting machine. The Gaston Board of Elections said it was concerned by the findings. Story Archive
11/18/2004 Malfeasance NC Cleveland County. State officials learned that precinct workers left 120 provisional ballots behind at a Cleveland County fire station on Election Day, and firefighters threw the ballots away the next day. Story1 Archive1

The ballots were trashed before a recount in which they would have been included. Story2 Archive2

11/18/2004 Malfeasance NC Guilford County. officials overlooked 93 provisional ballots in their secure storage area when they counted after the election. Those ballots were included in the recount. Story Archive
11/18/2004 Canvass anomalies OH Montgomery County. Two precincts had 25% presidential undervotes. This means no presidential vote was recorded on 1/4 of the ballots. The overall undervote rate for the county was 2%. The undercount amounted to 2.8 percent of the ballots in the 231 precincts that supported Kerry, but only 1.6 percent of those cast in the 354 precincts that supported President Bush. Story Archive
11/18/2004 Malfeasance OH Hearings in Ohio reveal a host of problems of many types. Story
11/16/2004 Late counting AR Lonoke County. Certification of the election totals likely will not be done until Friday, the deadline for certification, Jean McCanliss, chairman of the Lonoke County Election Commission, said on Monday. Story
11/16/2004 Provisional ballots CA Alameda County. Students at Berkeley were given provisional ballots when they chose the option for paper mandated by the Secretary of State. In one precinct nearly half the ballots were provisional. Story
11/16/2004 Machine malfunction CT Norwalk. The state Elections Enforcement Commission will consider whether to penalize the city's registrars of voters for failing to fully merge the city's voter rolls with the state's centralized voter system. The registrars said they tried to comply with the Help America Vote Act, but experienced problems, such as the elimination of voters, each time the local rolls were converted to the state registry. Story
11/16/2004 Ballot printing FL Escambia County. While the machines accurately counted the number of absentee votes, they began feeding an incorrect result into the office's computers. The tabulation error showed more than 85% turnout, when it was closer to 75%. Story Archive
11/16/2004 Canvass anomalies FL Broward County. 94% of 78,861 absentee ballots were recorded in favor of Amendment 4, which passed by a thin margin in the county. The votes in question were counted late on election night after a glitch was discovered in the computers tallying absentees. Story Archive
11/16/2004 Malfeasance FL The unmarked brown box sat unnoticed in the Pinellas Supervisor of Elections office until Monday, two weeks after the election, when an employee cleaning a desk stumbled upon it. Inside were 268 uncounted absentee ballots. Story Archive
11/16/2004 Election law IN Indiana's law has a quirk many voters may not realize. Voters who vote a straight ticket but want to vote for candidates of another party in multi-candidate races like at-large council will lose all votes for candidates in that race from their own party. If a voter votes a straight Democratic ticket but picks one Republican in the at-large race, no votes count for the Democratic candidates. Only the Republican vote is counted. Story Archive
11/16/2004 Machine malfunction IN Diebold Ripley County discovered an error with Fidlar Election Co. optical scan memory cards, Ripley County Clerk Ginger Bradford said. The memory cards that count the votes in optical scanners had the wrong precinct labels, so the cards were sent back to the company to be reprogrammed. Story Archive
11/16/2004 Machine malfunction IN ESS Brown County, which uses ES&S optical scanners, considered recounting votes in one precinct because the tally tape produced by the scanner showed 63 unvoted ballots. However, the law doesn't allow the election board to reject certification by the precinct board, so they didn't do anything. Story Archive
11/16/2004 Machine malfunction IN ESS Carroll County, with optical scanners from Election Systems and Software (ES&S), had to handcount county council votes in its 19 precincts on election day. The Indiana Election Commission determined the computer program didn't comply with Indiana law for that office, Carroll County Clerk Laura Sterrett said. Story Archive
11/16/2004 Registration fraud IN Hendricks County. 102 provisional ballots were given to voters who registered through registration drives, but whose names were not on the rolls. Story
11/16/2004 Machine malfunction OH ESS Sandusky County elections officials discovered some ballots in nine precincts were counted twice. [ES&S optical scan] The county doesn't yet know how it happened. Story Archive
11/16/2004 Provisional ballots OH Of the 11 counties that have completed checking ballots, 81 percent, or 4,277 out of 5,310 ballots, are valid, according to a survey Monday by The Associated Press. Most of the counties are in rural areas. 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
11/16/2004 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
11/15/2004 Voter intimidation PA In Philadelphia, the Republican Party hired local people including down-and-out addicts as neighborhood poll watchers, paid the poll watchers to challenge their neighbors' voting, and sent visiting teams of burly enforcers in window-tinted vans in a mixed strategy of intimidation, pay and misinformation to suppress voting on November 2, according to a Brooklyn law student working with Election Protection. Story
11/14/2004 Ballot printing CO Instructions on absentee ballots were wrong in several counties, including Denver and Adams. Story Archive
11/14/2004 Long lines CO Many Denver precincts ran out of voting materials hours before the polls closed, leaving voters waiting in long lines while additional materials were dispatched. There were inexcusably long lines for early voting in many counties, where clerks have discretion to designate as many locations as they deem appropriate. Story Archive
11/14/2004 Malfeasance CO The list of issues in this election is troubling. Outdated voter-registration lists. Election judges turning voters away because of misguided interpretations of new election laws. Voters who never got to cast their ballots because they never received requested absentee ballots. Story Archive
11/14/2004 Malfeasance CO The secretary of state's election rules went through at least four different versions this year before the final set of rules was issued on Oct. 22, less than two weeks before Election Day. Similarly, the statewide election judge training manual produced by the secretary of state's office was not issued until a week before the election. By that time, a substantial portion of the state's 16,000 judges were already trained, and many Coloradans had already cast their ballots during early voting. ... and the list goes on. Story Archive
11/14/2004 Provisional ballots CO Denver improperly rejected some provisional ballots cast during the primary. Story Archive
11/14/2004 Vote suppression CO Election judges in Boulder, Denver, Jefferson, Douglas and Weld counties gave incorrect instructions to voters about IDs, and more alarmingly, sent dozens of these voters away without allowing them to cast ballots. Some judges incorrectly told provisional ballot voters that they should only vote for president. Some judges were still redirecting voters to other polling places or clerks' offices minutes before the close of polling instead of offering provisional ballots. Story Archive
11/14/2004 Fraud FL Broward County. About 30 people who voted early on touch-screen machines went to the polls on Election Day and attempted to vote a second time. Their names will be given to the prosecutor. Story
Records: 881-920 of 1280
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