Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 10/27/04)

Palm Beach County, Florida. October, 2004. Sequoia.
Touch screens fail in the second day of early voting.

In the second day of early voting, touch screen machines failed and had to be replaced. Voters quickly lost confidence in the election process.*

At Palm Beach County's West Boca branch library, voters were turned away Tuesday morning after touch-screen voting machines failed to work properly. Voting finally got underway at midday, after five new units were delivered.

Lines snaked out from the library's small windowless conference room, which doubled as a makeshift precinct. Waits of two or three hours were not uncommon at many of the county's eight early voting sites.

... Seeing all this, Jane Weidman of Boca Raton said she had lost confidence in the system.

"We are all here because we're afraid our vote is not going to count on Nov. 2," she said. "We can't vote. It's like Afghanistan. We're all in a long line. What's going on here?"

... Democratic poll watcher Rhoda Stern-Moss cleared up the mystery.

"They tried to boot up the machines this morning and they wouldn't go, so they ordered new ones," she said. "No big deal."

It was a big deal if you had waited a total of five hours in line Monday and left without voting, then spent three more hours in line Tuesday Boca Raton resident Ann Dean's complaint.

And the failure to boot up wasn't the only problem.

Morris Jay of Boca Raton came Monday but left without voting. He was one of the first in line Tuesday and was not inspired by his voting experience.

"I voted, but my machine froze," he said. "They fiddled around with it, then they closed it up. They gave me another card and I went to another machine."

* Glitches, lines hamper early voting. Palm Beach Post. October 19, 2004. By John Murawski, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer.

See: Sequoia 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 ignorant or deceptive.
~ Joseph Holder