Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 07/03/04)

Harris County, Texas. November, 2003. Hart Intercivic eSlate.

Poll workers couldn't get the machines to work.*

Hundreds of Houston area voters didn't get to cast ballots Tuesday morning because of problems with the eSlate system. The machines were down at some polling places so voters were told to come back later and try again. Despite ideal voting weather an Election Day storm cloud hung over the Greater True Light Baptist Church.

"I came to vote this morning," said Norvie Marshall. "And all the machines was down. We waited and waited and waited."

For two long hours they waited. Some voters who had to work had to leave. "Very, very frustrating," said Betty Mills. "I mean I've been voting here for 30 years."

This year, of course, is different with the new eSlate style of voting. An election judge at Greater True Light says he couldn't get them to work. "We got nothing, nothing didn't come on," said Dwight Baldwin. "We couldn't get nothing to do nothing."

However, at a statewide conference in Texas on June 30, 2004, at the Del Lago Resort and Conference Center, David Beirne, the Harris County Clerk's director of public affairs tells a different story:**

"We've had no problems and feel comfortable with the technology," he said. "We always have two sets of equipment in case of failure."

* Polling machine problems anger many voters. From 11 News Staff Reports; 07:27 PM CST on Tuesday, November 4, 2003

** New election equipment brings new problems. Conroe Courier. July 1, 2004. By Lauren Hutton.

See: Hart Intercivic 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