Voting Machine Mess-up

Berks County, Pennsylvania. May, 2005. Danaher.
Votes were lost on the Danaher 1242 Shouptronic paperless voting machines.

Since the number of lost votes could affect the outcome of three races, the 199 people whose votes were lost may be asked to revote.

Election staff apparently used a training cartridge instead of an actual election cartridge to record the votes, Winters said. A training cartridge is not designed to retain information once the computer system is shut down, he said.

Officials said the lost votes could affect at least two races for Reading City Council and school Board seats.*

WFMZ News covered the story:**


When the Director of Election Services, Kurt Bellman was fired, representatives from Danahar companies were brought in quickly. But they say they still had to re-design an election that usually takes a month in just 4 days. In the haste, 40 cartridges were programmed incorrectly and placed in machines, but counts still could have been taken out of all of them, but...

Christine M. Sadler Interim Elections Director

If for some reason, the machines are closed down, and re-opened, that eliminates the paper tape and the paper trail.


And that's what happened on two machines, which means everyone who voted in ward 15, precincts 6 and 7 must re-vote. At least 3 close races will be affected, including district 5's city council seat.

* Berks County may ask people to vote again in two precincts. May 18, 2005. Associated Press. Archive.

** Election Problems In Berks County. WFMZ May 18, 2005. Reporter Rob Vaughn.

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