E-voting glitches hamper elections in seven states
Hanging Chad, make room for Folded Crease
USA '08 People in at least seven states - six of them considered battleground states - are reporting that bugs and malfunctions with electronic voting machines are hampering their ability to cast votes in a presidential election that is expected to bring out a record number of voters.
In Florida, a state that is no stranger to controversial election results, the problem was with optical scan machines, which, coincidentally, many e-voting skeptics have said are less prone to error than other ballot machine types. In the sunshine state's Palm Beach County, elections officials have said that creases in absentee ballots are causing some votes to be misread by machines made by Sequoia Voting Systems. It seems that in some cases, the crease can be misinterpreted as a black arrow that's supposed to indicate a voter's choice.
The discovery has prompted one candidate whose race is printed on the part of the ballot that's folded to request absentee ballots to be hand counted. So far officials have rejected the call.
Voters also reported problems with optical scanning in Colorado. They stem from dust that collects in the creases of mail-in ballots that could lead to inaccuracies.
Virginia, another swing state that could ultimately decide whether Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain wins the White House, also experienced problems with e-voting machines Tuesday. Voting at more than two-dozen polling places in that state came to a standstill caused largely by machine failures and a lack of paper ballots. In Henrico County, many people showing up to polls had to wait hours to cast their ballot after five of seven voting machines broke down, according to a group called the Election Protection Coalition. No paper ballots were available during the outage.
Henrico County officials disputed the reports of long lines.
The reports are just the latest to cast e-voting as unreliable and fraught with risk to tampering. In August 2007, California Secretary of State imposed strict limitations on the use of e-voting machines from all four companies doing business in the state. Ohio's top elections official has also reported finding serious vulnerabilities in machines used in that state.
Tuesday's problems also extended to states that are not considered swing states.
In Kentucky's Kenton County 108 eSlate machines sold by Hart Intercivic had to be taken out of service two hours after polls opened. The problem, according to the Associated Press: "The machines weren't lighting up when someone voted a straight-party ticket of all Democrats or Republicans. The machines' removal meant longer waits for some voters."
And in Illinois, where polls indicate Obama is likely to win easily, people also reported problems, according to the group Verified Voting. Other states reporting problems included New Jersey and Pennsylvania. ®
Live in Kenton County
I live in Kenton County, Kentucky, and at my polling place we did have one of those e-voter machines. They were designated for the "less-than-able" voters who needed assistance. The one I used looked like something I made back in 4th grade science class when learning about electrical currents. I pressed a button and a light appeared. If I hadn't made a selection yet, the light flashed. The big "Ka-chunk" sound after casting my selections sounded like a hole punch.
ATMs and e-gambling machines are too high of a goal to reach for these. Try matching the touch-screen capabilities of my local Walgreen's picture copier and it might be easier.
@Might it be
As much that I might agree with your sentiments..
[quote]Thank you, Engerland. Your Westminster System, like your automobiles, is clunky and not at all sexy but it works - reliable so long as you dont keep trying to take corners at high speed or turn the air conditioning on at the same time as the radio. Reliable for realists.[/quote]
Cant take corners? Isn't sexy? WTF?
Aston Martin? Clunky Lotus? Nobel?
And you compare that to, what? The Chevy (Buy one get one free)? Crysler [Crashme] Crossfire?
Maybe your 'new and improved GT40' that isn't 40 inches high anymore, to allow fat asses like Clarkson to get in them, could cut the mustard.. but really.. it's a little too late to be re-designing 1960's classics... did you see a new E-Type floating past at the lights on the way to work today?
As far as 'automobiles'.. commonly called 'cars' in the real world, go.. I'd think that any 'crap' some farmer manages to cobble together in a shed in Whiltshire would happly spank your uber-cornering, sexy, air-con, radio blasting, hillbilly wagons.
In reference to democracy... Gordon Clown wasn't even elected.. so you have us there..
Paris.. because shes likes a good spanking....
Re: Not surprised
This problem is not the result of unwillingness to pay for a decent system.
The states which are using the old, cheap systems are not having these problems. These issues all involve states which are futzing with new, 'state of the art' voting machines made by companies who should, by and large, be eliminated from the bid for making voting machines due to poor track records, conflicts of interest, and probably other reasons as well.
And, for what it's worth, 'merikins most certainly *can* make decent voting machines - we have them in something like 17 states. We have another around 23 states or so with passable voting machines. And then we have the states that make the news every few elections.
Personally, I think the people who selected the voting equipment in those states should be investigated for voter fraud, along with the companies involved.