Voting Machine Malfunction

Cobb County, Georgia. September, 2005. Diebold DRE.
285 electronic ballots were completely blank; officials don't care.

New “upgraded” software caused technical problems during the modem transmission of vote data.*

New computer software and problems transmitting precinct results to the central Cobb Board of Elections offices in Marietta delayed results from Tuesday's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum, election officials said.

... At precincts with the worst problems, poll workers had to drive to the central elections office and hand deliver the results, Ms. Dunn [director of the Cobb Board of Elections and Registration] said.

Then, the final tally showed that 285 ballot were completely blank. The margin of victory was less than half that number.**

About 285 voters showed up at the polls on Sept. 20 for Cobb's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax referendum but never cast a vote.

The number of these "nonvotes," where a registered voter received a ballot but left without voting either yes or no, was more than twice SPLOST's 114-vote victory.

While election officials and political observers say the nonvoters likely would not have swayed the election in the other direction, some say they indicate continued problem's with Georgia's electronic voting system.

The reasons put forth by officials boggle the mind. For example:

Dr. Carol Pierannunzi, director of the A.L. Burruss Institute of Public Service at Kennesaw State University, said there are a number of reasons voters show up to the polls but never cast a vote.

"There are people who are in the habit of voting," she said. "Civic duty and whatever else compels them to go to the polls, but they don't know enough about the matter to vote."

And the official response is equally disturbing:

Cobb election officials described the number of nonvotes in the SPLOST referendum - less than 300 out of almost 40,000 ballots cast - as "irrelevant."

* Officials: New software delayed SPLOST results. Marietta Daily Journal Online. September 22, 2005. By Kimberly Starks.

* About 285 SPLOST voters showed up but never cast ballot. Marietta Daily Journal Online. September 29, 2005. By Kimberly Starks.

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