Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 12/21/04)

Maryland. November, 2004. Diebold.
Touch screens register votes incorrectly.

On election day, TrueVoteMD registered 383 reports involving 531 incidents of problems encountered by voters. Many voters reported votes switching on the screens.*

These problems ranged in severity from moderate inconvenience to outright voter disenfranchisement. The significance of these complaints increases dramatically, however, when one considers that Maryland had a total of 1,787 precincts this year, and TrueVoteMD was only able to cover a fraction of these—some 6%. ...

Most incidents that were reported to TrueVoteMD fell into the following categories:

Lost votes due to incomplete ballots that were missing candidates or entire races
Lost votes due to machines crashing or freezing before the voter cast a ballot
Lost votes due to “smart card” and encoder failures
Lost votes due to delayed poll openings because of machine boot-up failures
Lost votes due to voter abandonment because of unacceptably long waits
Lost votes resulting from touch screen failures that included vote switching, review screen malfunctions, unintended selections and submission of ballots before voters had made selections, hypersensitivity to touch that caused voters to complain that “it was out of control and I have no idea who my votes were cast for,” screens going blank
Lost votes from unreadable voting machine hard drives (PCMCIA cards)
Lack of privacy because machines were oriented so that the screens were visible by those waiting on line to vote
Discrepancies between electronic vote tallies and manual vote tallies
No offer of provisional ballot or wrongful denial of provisional ballot
Disenfranchised voters due to failures in the Motor Vehicle Administration registration process.
Inadequate staffing and insufficient training of election judges

* When the Right to Vote Goes Wrong. TrueVoteMD. November, 2004.

See: Diebold 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