Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 01/14/05)

Grays Harbor, Washington. November, 2004. ES&S.
Phantom votes are added by optical scanners.

Elections officials started recounting about 28,000 ballots on Tuesday after the ES&S Unity reporting system showed too many votes.*

[County Auditor Vern] Spatz said unusually high turnout aroused suspicion that something might be wrong. On Monday, Grays Harbor County was reporting 93 percent turnout, much higher than anywhere else in the state. Officials checked the system and found the problem.

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, Spatz said.

The recount changed the outcome of the Governor's race in Grays Harbor County.

VotersUnite contacted Mr. Spatz and mentioned that ES&S optical scanners had double-counted ballots in other states during the November election. He was surprised and interested. He was also concerned because ES&S Unity Election Management software is supposed to prevent disks from being downloaded twice.

See mess-up du jours for Sarpy County, NE; Sandusky County, OH; and Lancaster County, NE.

* Gray's Harbor County re-count boosts Gregoire. November 16, 2004. By Rebecca Cook, Associated Press.

See: ES&S in the News

News stories make it rapidly apparent that
electronic voting is not reliable, accurate, or secure.
Any one who claims otherwise is either uninformed or deceptive.
~ Joseph Holder