Voting Machine Mess-up Du Jour (Displayed 12/27/04)

Travis County, Texas. October, 2004. Hart Intercivic.
Touch screens register votes incorrectly.

Astonishingly, the eSlate electronic voting machines allow election officials to define default candidates.

In Austin, they were set up with a default candidate for president. This default selection -- for Bush/Cheney -- overrode previous Democratic votes if voters weren't careful to press exactly the right buttons at the right times.*

Gail Fisher, manager of the county's Elections Division, theorizes that after selecting their straight party vote, some voters are going to the next page on the electronic ballot and pressing "enter," perhaps thinking they are pressing "cast ballot" or "next page."

Since the Bush/Cheney ticket is the first thing on the page, it is highlighted when the page comes up and thus, pressing "enter" at that moment causes the Kerry/Edwards vote to be changed to Bush/Cheney.

* County Responds to Voting Machine Problems. Austin Chronicle. October 22, 2004. By Lee Nichols.

See: Hart 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