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2008 Eerily Familiar
Fiction Stops Here
|These statements demonstrate a troubling misunderstanding of the
seriousness and complexities of the responsibilities entrusted to our election
officials. But perhaps the most revealing and disconcerting statement came
from Kathy Rogers, vice president of government affairs for Premier Election
Solutions. Rogers said, "We did not prepare this county in advance." Yes,
Diebold/Premier sold a product that didn't count votes in Tuesday's election.
Not the first time. But Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning who tests
and certifies the machines before the counties acquire them, found nothing
wrong with the machines. Sarasota County's Elections Supervisor Kathy Dent
found nothing wrong with the machines. Hillsborough County's Elections
Supervisor Buddy Johnson found nothing wrong with the machines. Did they
even turn the machines on? Or perhaps that step wasn't included in the test
instructions provided by Premier.
"We did not prepare this county in advance." You may already
understand why this simple comment is so disturbing. If not, please take a
look at Lou Dobbs and Kitty Pilgrim's "Democracy at Risk's“ Outsourcing
Elections" interview of Ellen Theisen. And read Ellen Theisen's report,
"Vendors are Undermining the Structure of U.S. Elections." Both can be
found on VotersUnite.org. Also, for troubling findings by the GAO, check my
article on OpEdNews, "A closer look at the GAO's Florida District 13. No
smoking gun...Not if but when and how often."
News sources referenced:
"Voting problems plague Sarasota," by STACEY EIDSON, The Bradenton
"Company Accepts Blame For Hillsborough Election Glitch," by ELLEN
GEDALIUS, The Tampa Tribune, 08/28/08
The good news is there was a clear and decisive win in the presidential
race. The bad news is we don't know and may never know the actual
numbers of votes cast for each candidate.
In Jefferson County, Texas votes flipped from Obama to McCain on ES&S’s
touch screens. But to the rest of America, it seemed a clean win. At least
there were no close calls for the presidential race and Barack Obama was
certified the winner. However, behind the win, questions linger. Did Barack
Obama really win in 2008? Or did Barack Obama win really, really big? The
appalling truth is, we may never know. However we do know, as recently as
June 2009, malfunctioning, poorly designed, vote-flipping ES&S voting
incidents are an ongoing ES&S reality. And finally, ES&S has admitted to a
known vote-flipping problem affecting 22,619 ES&S iVotronic voting
Election errors continue to roll in as documented by these states during 2009
and/or 2008: AR, AZ, CA, FL, IN, KS, OH, MA, MI, MN, NC, NM, PA, SC,
SD, TN, TX, WI, WV . . . Some have actual backups in the form of voter
marked paper ballots. Others do not. But all incurred errors with their ES&S
equipment that changed the final election results. See the list of
Authenticated Election Errors 2008-2009 errors at the bottom of this page.
Unfortunately, a recap of Florida's 2008 primary sounds eerily familiar.
Florida still can't count votes. 3,478 ballots went missing in Palm Beach
County. Broward County tallied 47 more ballots in their recount than
counted Election Day. Manatee County's modems didn't work in four
precincts. And Sarasota and Hillsborough Counties. . . new high-speed
scanners didn't work.
Sarasota never did find their 18,000 missing votes in 2006. Florida never
looked for the 89K missing votes in the uncontested statewide Attorney
General's race. But this time there's paper to prove the failures. And this
time they can't blame the voters for Florida's failed voting systems.
Although the cause of these failures is different than those in 2006, as are
the voting machines. The recovery is vastly different. This time instead of
denying the problem exists and holding out for court fisticuffs, they scooped
up our paper ballots and simply counted them by hand.
Problem solved? No. In at least three Florida counties, Election Supervisors
responded to their voting machine failures with all the seriousness and
responsibility of a third grader's, "The dog ate my homework [that Daddy
|The intent of this article is to focus on recent ES&S voting related errors, those reported in 2008 and
2009: AR, AZ, CA, FL, IN, KS, OH, MA, MI, MN, NC, NM, PA, SC, TN, TX, WI, WV. If you are
interested in errors incurred from 2004 through 2007 or on voting machines manufactured by other
vendors, these are available on VotersUnite’s Election Problem Log.
States and Counties with Documented ES&S iVotronic Touch-Screen Voting Machine Errors:
1. Saline County, KS. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machine. In April 2009, The county
discovered that vote-flipping is a known problem that affects 22,619 ES&S iVotronic voting machines,
whose screens were made by Bergquist Co. In October 2008, the Brennan Center warned the
Secretaries of State in 16 states that the screens had "calibration drift." ES&S admits that calibration
may not hold through the entire Election Day.
2. Benton County, AR. iVotronic e-voting machines failed to start up at several polling places. Voters
used paper ballots
3. Faulkner County, AR. The iVotronic touch screen "voter-verifiable paper trail" did NOT match the
electronic count. When early voting data was uploaded from the iVotronic touch screen to the Unity
election management system, the system doubled them. White County, AR.
4. Broward County, FL. Precinct shows 79 more ballots than the number of registered voters on the
5. Miami Dade and Broward Counties. iVotronic touch screen machines. Presidential candidates did not
appear on the ballots of some voters, both Democrats and Republicans.
6. Crawford County, KS. The iVotronic electronic voting machines in three precincts at a Pittsburg ward
may have switched the votes in certain local races. Only 14 votes separates the two candidates for the
County Attorney's race.
7. Franklin County, OH. Vote-flipping reported on the iVotronic touch screen machine.
8. Ohio County, OH. Serious calibration problems with the iVotronic touch screen machines. Poll workers
have to calibrate after about 10 voters.
9. Ohio County, Putnam County, and Jackson County, OH. Vote-flipping on the presidential contest, on
the iVotronic touch screen machines.
10. Guilford County, NC. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machine.
11. Horry County, SC. iVotronics touch screen machines refused to print results at the end of the day.
12. Horry County, SC. iVotronic touch screen machines throughout the county the machines are not
reading an activation card. All 100 precincts in the county have been affected.
13. Davidson County, TN. An iVotronic touch screen malfunction.
14. Decatur County, TN. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machine.
15. Dallas, TX. A new type of vote-flipping in the straight-party function on the iVotronic touch screen
machine. Palo Pinto County, TX. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machine.
16. Jefferson County, TX. Vote-flipping from Obama to McCain on the iVotronic touch screen machine.
17. Berkeley County, WV. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen voting machines.
18. Hancock County, WV. iVotronic e-voting machines ran out of paper for the voter-verifiable paper
record. In one case the printer wasn't working at all.
19. Jackson County, WV. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen.
20. Monongalia and Greenbrier Counties, WV. Vote-flipping on the iVotronic touch screen machines.
21. Putnam County, WV. Vote-flipping from Democrat to Republican on the iVotronic e-voting
22. Wayne County, WV. iVotronic touch-screen voting machines malfunctioned during the primary
23. Wood County, WV. iVotronics touch-screen voting machines had to be repaired or replaced and
electronic issues with some of the voting machines that caused a delay in tallying the vote.
States and Counties with Other Machine Errors (Not Related to the ES&S iVotronic Touch Screens):
1. Secretary of State's office, AR. Some printer malfunctions, some machines wouldn't start up, a power
outage caused machines to shut down, one machine wasn't printing paper records properly.
2. Benton County, AR. Two precincts showed more ballots cast than voters registered.
3. Cochise County, AZ. Computer error caused the accumulated totals for five polling places to be
added to the precinct totals every time new figures were added.
4. Los Angeles County, CA. Four of twelve votes (33% error rate) were printed on the ballot incorrectly
by the InkaVote Plus ballot-marking device. Write-in votes cannot be cast on an InkaVote Plus
"accessible" voting machine.
5. Sacramento County, CA. M100 optical scanners malfunctioned in many ways during the pre-election
"logic and accuracy" tests.
6. Sacramento County, CA. ES&S miscalibrated the precinct optical scanners, and the tinting on the
ballots was so dark that the scanners misread the votes.
7. Broward County, FL. Computer used to check-in voters malfunctioned.
8. Broward County, FL. The machine count was wrong by as much as 5% in 7 of the 16 precincts
randomly selected for spot-check of one race by Supervisor of Elections.
9. Pasco County, FL. Five DS200 scanners broke down, eighteen weren't able to transmit results via
10. Pinellas County, FL. 12 scanners (new DS200) had to be replaced due to paper jams and frozen
11. Madison County, IN. Ballots printed by ES&S were positioned wrong on the paper, preventing the
tabulators from being able to count the votes.
12. Wayne County, IN. When local officials tried to tally the vote they received a "system error"
13. New Bedford, MA. AutoMark ballot-marking machines "won't work" with Republican ballots.
14. Wayne County, MI. Votes tallied by M100 optical scanners did not match hand counts.
15. Wayne County, MI. The battery on a memory card in one precinct failed, forcing those votes to be
16. Hennepin County, MN. M-100 Optical scanners aren't working at Brooklyn Center and Buffalo. In
Buffalo, lines backed up at the voting machines, despite no lines at the booths. The machine was spitting
out ballots and returning error messages.
17. Across the state in NM. Problem-prone ballot memory cards used in voting machines across New
18. Curry County, NM. A software programming error caused precinct totals in an early voting location
to be counted more than once
19. Craven County, NC. ES&S coding errors caused the software to read the data incorrectly.
20. Onslow County, NC. Approximately 4,000 (Model 100) optical scan ballots from early voting
weren't counted by the tabulation software because they were apparently not uploaded correctly.
21. Mecklenburg County, NC. About 2,400 absentee ballots were counted twice by the ES&S Unity
tabulation system. About 37,000 optical scan ballots were counted twice by the ES&S Unity tabulation
system. Wake County, NC.
22. Polk County, NC. Results for the County Board of Elections flip flops as the county struggled with
malfunction in the computer reporting system.
23. Franklin County, Ohio. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Bruner launched a criminal investigation
after discovering not every voter has the same ballot. It was discovered that not all the machines were
tested before the election and a function that tracks changes in the machines was purposely turned off.
24. Centre County, PA. Discrepancy Model 100 optical scanner votes cast and the actual number of
25. Charleston County, SC. Problems uploading data from the iVotronic touch screen machines caused
officials to enter the data by hand into the central system.
26. Pennington County, SD. The ES&S tabulation software added nearly 5,000 votes to the total as
votes from the three M650 scanners were combined.
27. Angelina County, TX. A recount of the ballots from five precincts found 959 fewer votes than
originally reported. The error had been caused by the ES&S expert who uploaded the results from each
memory cartridge twice.
28. Travis County, TX. Only one of about nine eSlate polling machines was working properly.
29. Angelina County, TX. Central tabulators couldn't read the vote-data cards from the M100 optical
30. Milwaukee, WI. Eagle optical scanners jammed and rejected ballots at several precincts.
31. Marion County., WV. The system failed to read the Personal Electronic Ballot (PEB) cartridges
holding the votes of 4,600 early voters.
32. Marion County, WV. The system quit tabulating around 7:30 pm.