Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 07/02/04)

Dona Ana County, New Mexico. June, 2004. Sequoia Insight Optical Scan

Machines failed the pre-election testing and were used in early voting.*

In pre-election testing, counters that track the total number of ballots passed through the machine showed incorrect numbers. The counters in four out of five machines were incorrect, showing as many as 20 or 30 votes more than the actual number of ballots tested. Yet the machines were used in early-voting anyway.

State Bureau of Elections computer specialist Steve Fresquez said Wednesday his director, Denise Lamb, briefed him on a problem with Insight machines before she went home for the day.

"The machines have a protective counter that records all the votes cast on them. That counter was reading transactions incorrectly and advancing extra numbers," he said.

The super-precinct feature, which totals the votes by Legislative district, gave incorrect totals, as they did in Curry County.

Chief Deputy Clerk Coni Jo Lyman said officials at Ink Impressions, the Rio Rancho-based company that provided the Insight machines, told her the machines were capable of counting both ways [by precinct and canvassed]. But when county personnel attempted to get the super-precinct totals from the machines, the numbers were wrong. Election workers wound up counting the vote by precinct, which took extra time and labor.

Ink Impressions president Terry Rainey denied Wednesday there is any problem with the machines or the “super-precincting” process.

* Company denies problem with voting program. Clovis News Journal. June 3, 2004. By Jack King: CNJ Staff Writer

See: Sequoia in the News

... the system we have for testing and certifying
voting equipment in this country
is not only broken, but is virtually nonexistent.
~ Michael Shamos
to the U.S. House Science subcommittee
on June 24, 2004