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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
11/27/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia St Lawrence County. ImageCast ballot scanners broke down in eight election districts. A comparison of details from the election suggests that the machines miscounted votes in others -- adding votes in some, missing votes in others. Story Archive
11/25/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia St. Lawrence County. Phantom votes (more votes than voters) reported in six election districts in the NY-23 congressional contest. Story Archive
11/13/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Lewis, Seneca and Schuyler Counties. The ImageCast ballot scanners failed. According to Anna E. Svizzero, state elections operation director, the primary cause of voting machine failure was a memory issue related to the way ballots were programmed to record multiple votes for one office. Story Archive

Update Nov. 20, 2009. "The issue was a bug in the Dominion source code that caused the machine to hang while creating ballot images for certain vote combinations in multiple candidate elections." The bug was discovered during pre-election testing, and ballot configuration files were modified in some machines, freeing up enough memory to prevent the hang. But not all machines with the problem were identified, so the malfunction occurred on election day in those machines. Story

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
11/12/2009 Machine malfunction CT Diebold Middlebury. One of the AccuVote ballot scanners broke down, forcing poll workers to switch to a replacement machine to continue counting ballots. Story Archive
11/12/2009 Machine malfunction NY ESS Erie County. A ballot programming error on the ballot scanner caused votes to be counted incorrectly. Story Transcript, see page 14.
11/10/2009 Machine malfunction MA Diebold Essex County. Methuen. AccuVote ballot scanner failed to read six ballots. This adds a new twist to the School Committee election saga, where incumbent Kenneth Henrick placed just five votes ahead of his friend and fellow incumbent George Kazanjian. The city clerk says that the machines regularly jam, resulting in a few ballots that go uncounted, but rarely as many as six. Story Archive
11/10/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Broome County. Hand counts revealed the ImageCast ballot scanners in five voting districts had miscounted votes. In some cases, the machines had rejected valid ballots. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
11/9/2009 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Miami County. A memory card failed, causing a two-hour delay in retrieving vote totals. Story Archive
11/6/2009 Machine malfunction PA ESS Lackawanna County. Flawed ballot programming on the M100 ballot scanners resulted in a failure to count up to 2,452 straight-party votes for two city candidates. Story Archive Story2 Archive2
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction CA ESS Merced County. Four "election computers" were not working properly early in the day and were repaired. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction MA ESS Quincy in Norfolk County. A power surge caused a 3P-Eagle optical scanner to break down. The machine was replaced. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction MI ESS Genesee County (Flint). Votes from the M100 optical scanner memory cards in Precinct 1 in Flushing Township could not be uploaded to the election management system database. Election workers entered the votes into database by hand, from the printed poll tapes. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction MI Diebold Washtenaw County (Ann Arbor). Some ballots didn't feed into the M100 scanners property, or weren't being read. In Ann Arbor, for example, in several precincts there was a one-ballot discrepancy between the machine count and the actual number of ballots. Some memory cards appeared to be "wiped clean" and wouldn't upload into the GEMS election management system. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction MS Diebold Adams County (Natchez). Printers on the TSx e-voting machines stalled and ran out of paper. Memory cards got stuck in the machines. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NC ESS Mount Airy (Surry County). Modems at two precincts failed and poll workers called in the results. Totals were transposed at the county office, causing the losing candidate to be announced initially as winner of the mayor's race. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NJ Sequoia Mercer County (Trenton). Memory cartridges from Advantage e-voting machines reported zero totals in 10 municipalities, even though there were votes on the machines. Vote totals were available on paper tapes printed at the machines. Story Archive

Update 11/6/09. Sequoia explained that there was an "as yet unknown problem in the connection to the county server", and when the transmission didn't go through clearly, the cartridges went into "review" mode. Story Archive

11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Cayuga County. ImageCast ballot scanners crashed. Some rejected valid ballots that other machines accepted. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Fulton County. ImageCast ballot scanners were impounded after it was found they were not working properly. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Lewis County. ImageCast ballot scanners malfunctioned at two polling stations. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Steuben County. The ImageCast ballot scanner in the first ward malfunctioned. Totals may not be known for weeks. Story Archive
11/4/2009 Machine malfunction PA ESS Indiana County. M100 optical scanners counted the number of ballots wrong. The number of ballots was an even number in 61 of 69 precincts, suggesting that the scanners counted each sheet of the 2-sheet ballot as a separate ballot. But that explanation doesn't account for a report of 642 ballots cast by 237 registered voters at Cherryhill 1. Even full turnout would have been just 474 pieces of paper. Election workers are still trying to find out what happened. 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.
11/4/2009 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
11/3/2009 Machine malfunction NC ESS Guilford County. Votes for Bill Knight for mayor were flipped to Yvonne Johnson on the iVotronic touch screen machine. Officials claimed it was a calibration problem. Story
11/3/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Oneida County. At the Vernon polling place, none of the three ImageCast optical scanners would operate. Story Archive
11/3/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Broome County. ImageCast ballot scanners sensed defects in the paper and rejected valid ballots. "And so because it picks up the defects, it doesn't pick up what people are voting for, and we have to void it and give them another paper," said Sweeney. Story Archive
11/3/2009 Machine malfunction NY ESS Erie County. Three DS200 ballot scanners jammed and had to be replaced. Story Archive
11/3/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia St. Lawrence County. ImageCast ballot scanner malfunctions prevented the county from having election results by the end of election day. Story Archive
11/3/2009 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Montgomery County. The county experienced malfunctions with encoders, paper jams on optical scanners, and miscalibrations on touch screens e-voting machines. Story Archive

Update 12/15/09. About 137 machines were outside calibration tolerance and had to be pulled from the election. Story

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
10/17/2009 Machine malfunction FL Diebold Sarasota County. In pre-election testing, they county found that the OSX scanners failed to read marks made with blue ink. The county's solution is to watch for ballots with blue ink, reproduce them with black ink and run them through the scanners. But the problem is intermittent. One ballot failed to scan properly, but scanned successfully the second time. The machines were Diebold/Premier AccuVote OSX Digital Scan Tabulator (Hardware Model A) with Firmware 1.0.2 . Story Archive
10/7/2009 Machine malfunction TN ESS Williamson County. Complaints of vote-flipping on the touch screen machine. One candidate's supporter tried to vote for him, but the machine highlighted a different candidate's name. Story Archive
9/17/2009 Machine malfunction OH Diebold Lucas County. Early voting votes could not be merged with election day votes in the Premier (Diebold) election management system database. After waiting for a Premier technician to "implement a fix," county officials finally merged the voted manually. Elections officials said yesterday the problem was caused by a database glitch that their touch-screen-machine vendor, Premier Election Solutions Inc., of Allen, Texas, assured them would not be a problem. Story Archive
9/16/2009 Machine malfunction NY ESS Albany County. During the "pilot" using uncertified equipment, ES&S DS-200 optical scanners jammed. It turned out to involve a glitch in the machine's software that was supposed to have been fixed already by the state and the machine's manufacturer. Story Archive
9/16/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Washington County. Sequoia/Dominion optical scanner jammed and delayed the posting of results. "They couldn’t get the paper out," Board of Elections Commissioner Donna English said of the machine malfunction. "That happens a lot of the time. The custodian got there and got it straightened out." Story Archive
9/15/2009 Machine malfunction NY Sequoia Broome County. During the "pilot" using uncertified equipment, Sequoia/Dominion ImageCast ballot marking devices/optical scanners malfunctioned in several precincts. At Seton Catholic High School, the machine was out of operation for an hour with memory card problems. At Davis College in Johnson City, the machine didn't start up properly. "Just turn it on and it will do it's things, well it didn't do it's thing." said Broome County Election Inspection Chair David Aswad. 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
Records: 1-40 of 616
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