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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
11/9/2004 Long lines AL Madison. During last week's general election, some Madison voters stood in line for hours to vote only to be turned away because they were at the wrong voting place. Story
11/9/2004 Ballot printing CO Boulder County. A printing error that distorted bar codes on Hart Intercivic paper ballots is being blamed for delays that made this one of the last counties in the nation to report election results. Scanners rejected ballots with the bad bar codes, requiring election judges to tally those votes race by race. Voting equipment was tested before the election. But the printing error occurred only on actual ballots that went to voters, not the test ballots. Story1 Story2 Archive1
11/9/2004 Machine malfunction LA Morehouse Parish. In Precinct 30, 72 more people voted in the election than signed the register; 98 in Precinct 30-B; and five in Precinct 29. Original Story Follow-up article
11/9/2004 Malfeasance LA Twelve of the city's 30 precincts contained both city issues and parish issues. Commissioners were supposed to set the machines to lock-out issues on which voters were not to cast ballots. In some cases, voters found the wrong propositions locked. Story
11/9/2004 Machine malfunction NC Unilect Carteret County. More than 4,500 votes irretrievably lost in coastal Carteret County could trigger a new statewide election if the official margin of victory in two Council of State races is close enough, state election officials said Monday. Story Archive
11/9/2004 Machine malfunction NC ESS Craven County. Problems with Electronic Systems and Software Inc. iVotronic voting machines surfaced in one-stop early voting, requiring all screens to be replaced. Story
11/9/2004 Machine malfunction NC ESS Craven County. "A master terminal at the Vanceboro one-stop voting site did not require a password and resulted in an incorrect total in the presidential returns there." ES&S again. Story Archive
11/9/2004 Provisional ballots NC Wake County (Raleigh). Reviewing and counting 15,000 may cause the county to miss the deadline for reporting totals. 75,000 ballots were cast statewide. Story
11/9/2004 Provisional ballots NC Elections officials approved 1,790 of Durham's 2,820 provisional ballots cast, or 63 percent. More than 1,000 ballots were rejected mainly because there was no record that the people had registered to vote. Story Archive
11/9/2004 Fraud NM New Mexico State Police are investigating allegations of voter fraud ? including one instance in which an as-of-yet unnamed woman is being connected with up to 200 bogus ballots. Story
11/9/2004 Provisional ballots NM Bernalillo County Clerk Mary Herrerasays roughly 25 percent of the provisional ballots in Bernalillo County have been rejected as invalid. Story
11/9/2004 Machine malfunction OH Mahoning County. One precinct in Youngstown, Ohio, recorded a negative 25 million votes, which was discarded from official results. [ES&S iVotronic voting machines] Story Archive
11/9/2004 (Other) US Lack of paper trail, lack of auditing paper ballots causes widespread lack of confidence in the election outcome and fear of hackers. Story Archive
11/8/2004 Machine malfunction FL Escambia County. According to county administrator Tony Sanks, on Tuesday night the county's memory pack receiver -- used to download each polling place's data -- did not function properly because of some bad circuitry. Story Archive
11/8/2004 Machine malfunction GA Diebold Election officials in Twigg and Hancock counties had early-morning difficulties programming the correct ballots into some of their systems. The encoders built into the balky systems "were still encoded for the primaries, and they hadn't been updated," Story Archive
11/8/2004 Machine malfunction SC Unilect The town of Lexington has 200 votes stuck in a Unilect Patriot electronic voting machine that malfunctioned and they can't figure out how to retrieve the data. Story Archive
11/7/2004 Provisional ballots FL Broward County accepted on 2428 provisional ballots out of a "ton" of them. In many cases, clerks at the polling places gave provisional ballots to people who could have voted regularly, deputy registrar Salas said. She thinks many clerks had trouble with last names of voters with compound names -- they simply couldn't find their names in the precinct registers, even though they were there. Story
11/7/2004 Registration fraud NJ Hundreds, perhaps thousands of students at Rutgers University thought they were registered only to find that they weren't on the rolls and could only vote provisionally. Many colleges are reporting the same problem. Story Archive
11/7/2004 Poor design TX Willacy County. Too few memory packs somehow caused the County Clerk to read machine reports wrong and initially report double the votes for president. Story Archive
11/6/2004 Malfeasance IN Porter County Officials find 188 uncounted absentee ballots. Story
11/6/2004 Machine malfunction OH Mercer County. One voting machine showed that 289 people cast (punch card) ballots, but only 51 votes were recorded for president. The county's Web site appeared to show a similar conflict, reporting that 51,818 people cast ballots but 47,768 ballots were recorded in the presidential race, including 61 write-ins. It would appear that about 4,000 votes (nearly 7%) could be unaccounted for. Story Archive
11/6/2004 Malfeasance OH Auglaize County In a letter dated Oct. 21, Ken Nuss, former deputy director of the County Board of Elections, claimed that Joe McGinnis, a former employee of ES&S, the company that provides the voting system in Auglaize County, was on the main computer that is used to create the ballot and compile election results, which would go against election protocol. Nuss was suspended and then resigned. Story Archive
11/6/2004 Machine malfunction PA Unilect Mercer County. Problems shut down Unilect Patriot electronic voting machines for all or most of the day. Story Archive
11/6/2004 Machine malfunction PA Unilect Mercer County. Accuracy of the Unilect Patriot machines are in serious question. One machine recorded 51 votes for president out of 289 ballots cast. The county's Web site reports that 51,818 people cast ballots but 47,768 ballots were recorded in the presidential race, including 61 write-ins. About 4,000 votes could be unaccounted for. Story Archive
11/6/2004 Machine malfunction PA Mercer County. Glitches with electronic touch-screen voting machines occurred in about a dozen precincts in the county's southwestern corner. Story Archive
11/5/2004 Late counting CA Santa Clara County. About one-third of the ballots remain to be counted because of the high numbers of absentee ballots, paper ballots requested by voters at the polls, and provisional ballots Story
11/5/2004 Machine malfunction CA ESS San Francisco. Troubles began on Wednesday after the election when the ES&S software failed to accurately count votes in the city's new ranked-choice voting system, which eliminates the need for expensive runoff elections. the problem stemmed from a safeguard in the software that converts optical scans of ballot results into data that the computer system uses to calculate winners. The conversion software shutdown when the amount of data entering the system had reached a level set by the vendor. (This sounds similar to the Election Management Systems' 32,767 vote limit encountered in NC, and FL.) Story Archive
11/5/2004 Late counting CO Boulder County's new Hart paper ballot system doesn't count ballots fast enough for the press. Story Archive
11/5/2004 Machine malfunction NE ESS Sarpy County. A computer problem doubled the votes in half the county's precincts, adding over 10,000 phantom votes to the totals. The county uses ES&S vote tallying software. As of 11/4, the cause had not been determined. The disc loaded correctly on one computer, but not on another. Story1 Story2 Archive1 Archive1
11/5/2004 Machine malfunction OH Danaher Columbus. A Danaher ELECTronic 1242 computer error with a voting machine cartridge gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in a Gahanna precinct. Records show only 638 voters cast ballots in that precinct. A cartridge from one of three voting machines at the polling place generated a faulty number at a computerized reading station. Matthew Damschroder, director of the Franklin County Board of Elections said the cartridge was retested Thursday and there were no problems. He couldn't explain why the computer reader malfunctioned. Story1 Story2Archive1
11/5/2004 Malfeasance OH Warren County. Citing concerns about potential terrorism, officials locked down the county administration building on election night and blocked anyone from observing the vote count as the nation awaited Ohio's returns. The Warren results were part of the last tallies that helped clinch President Bush's re-election. James Lee, spokesman with the Ohio Secretary of State's Office in Columbus, said Thursday he hasn't heard of any situations similar to Warren County's building restrictions. Story
11/5/2004 Vote suppression US A national voting rights group said Friday it documented hundreds of voting irregularities affecting poor and minority voters in seven Southern states - from long lines and faulty equipment to deliberate voter intimidation. Story
11/5/2004 Poor design WA Thurston County. The Thurston County elections staff recounted an estimated 81,000 ballots first tallied Election Day after learning that computer software wasn't set up properly for the first count. In this case, an "F2 key" was not punched when elections workers set up the vote-counting machines prior to Tuesday's election, Wyman said. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Late counting FL Lee County. More than 40,000 ballots remain to be counted after Wednesday. Story
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction FL ESS Broward County. ES&S vote tabulating software used for absentee ballots "is not geared to count more than 32,000 votes in a precinct. So what happens when it gets to 32,000 is the software starts counting backward. Amendment 4 passed in Broward County by more than 240,000 votes rather than the 166,000-vote margin reported Wednesday night. ES&S has known about the problem for two years and done nothing about it. The same software is used in Martin and Miami-Dade Counties.Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction FL ESS Collier County. Central computer added test votes to the tally on the ES&S tabulation software. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Volusia County. Memory-card breakdowns in six machines left political contests in limbo for hours. The county had the memory cards inspected by Diebold this summer in preparation for the busy election season. Ion Sancho, the elections supervisor in Leon County, said officials with Diebold told him that the new, higher-capacity memory cards tend to have more glitches than older cards. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Seminole County. Memory card failures similar to Volusia County's. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction IN ESS LaPorte. Software flaw reported the total for every precinct to report 300 registered voters. That means the total number of voters for the county would be 22,200, although there are actually more than 79,000 registered voters. The county still doesn't know the cause of the problem and is waiting to get a patch from ES&S. Story Archive
11/4/2004 Machine malfunction MD Data transmission failures occurred in 14 precincts. Story

Records: 961-1000 of 1280
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