Friday, November 6, 2009

Tennessee seek machines in Dec or Jan, 2452 straight ticket votes missed in Lackawanna, Moritz on uncounted ballots

Tennessee Judge Says No to Tennessee Voter Confidence Act Injunction, Yes to Crucial Plaintiff Claim, the Secretary of State will issue requests for proposals for NEW voting equip sometime in December or January...A programming error caused 2,452 straight-party votes to go uncounted in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania...Cuyahoga County sheds its reputation for troubled elections with smooth vote count Tuesday night...

...Moritz law talks about 3 types of uncounted ballots...6.8 percent of Virginians have permanently lost their right to vote (as long as they live in Virginia)....
Today we try to catch up on election day glitch-snag-snafu-hiccup reports in Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia.......If you think we missed something, please send us a link to the story at joyce (at) and we will post it...if you think you've missed an issue of Voting News check online at our home page

CO: Provisional ballots could change IRV outcome in Aspen
Clerk and recorder said it's too early to speculate
November 6, 2009 ASPEN — There are between 25 and 40 provisional ballots in Pitkin County's mail-in election that have yet to be counted, and depending on how many of them are from Aspen residents, they could change the outcome of the Instant Runoff Voting result.

MD: Maryland Voters Test New Cryptographic Voting System
Wired News... The Scantegrity code is written in Java and uses a Fujitsu high-speed scanner for reading ballots. Chaum owns the IP for the system and has promised that the first jurisdiction — county, city, state or country — that wants to implement the system can have it fully licensed in perpetuity for free.

“I’m not doing this to make money,” he told Threat Level. “I’m doing it because I want to make it happen.”

Chaum says he hasn’t decided on a cost yet for jurisdictions who will license it after the initial adopter but says he can easily sell it for half the cost of current optical-scan voting systems, which run about $6,000 apiece.

MI: Election Night in Washtenaw County * After polls close, work continues for county clerk's staff (ballot misfeeds, blank memory cards)
November 4, 2009...some ballots aren’t feeding into voting machines property, or aren’t being read. In Ann Arbor, for example, in several precincts there’s a one-ballot discrepancy between the machine count and the actual number of ballots. That count has to be resolved before delivering results to the county.

Brooks describes how the printer misaligned the perforation between the main ballots and the ballot stubs, which are torn off before the ballots are fed into the voting machine. “It looks like a six-year-old cut it with scissors,” he quips.
Throughout the evening, Yankee processes memory cards, uploading the information on them into the software program GEMS (Global Election Management System). A couple of times, Yankee encounters memory cards that have been wiped clean. This requires that he get the poll book and enter the results manually.

NJ: Voting machines absolved of blame *
November 06, 2009...The cartridge readers did produce counts of zero votes in districts spread through 10 municipalities, but they only did in response to an as-yet unknown problem in their connection to a county computer server, said Robert Giles, director of the state Division of Elections.

The cartridge readers detected a power surge or some other anomaly and went into a "review" mode where they only give out readings of zero votes, Giles said. He visited the clerk's office yesterday morning, along with Sequoia staffers.

"If there's any kind of an issue during transmission, like if the transmission doesn't go through clearly, it's going to put it into review," he said.

According to Sollami-Covello, the Sequoia system initiated an "automated fail-safe" process that preserved voting data but sent zeros to the server.

NJ: Problems with voting machines in Mercer * (Sequoia)
November 04, 2009. TRENTON — Some votes cast in Tuesday’s election did not appear in initial tallies by the county clerk last night, affecting official vote totals in ten municipalities.

Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami-Covello said she thought the errors were caused by the county’s Sequoia Voting Systems machines, which have been blamed for vote discrepancies in the past and are the subject of a long-running lawsuit.
When the cartridges from affected districts were put into reading machines, the machines had showed zero votes cast and said the readings were complete, Sollami-Covello said. But the paper tapes showed higher numbers of votes.

The affected voting districts are in East Windsor, Ewing, Hamilton, Hopewell Township, Lawrence Township, Princeton Borough and Township, Robbinsville, Trenton and West Windsor, according to a letter Sollami-Covello sent to Sequoia Wednesday.

Hamilton was particularly affected, with cartridges from 15 districts giving some zero results.
In the Feb. 2008 presidential primary, 30 of Mercer County’s 600 voting machines recorded inaccurate voter turnout totals, according to county officials. The malfunctioning machines correctly recorded each vote cast for the right candidate, but miscalculated the numbers of total Republican and total Democratic ballots...

NV: County looks to bring in manufactured building to store voting machines
The advent of electronic voting machines in Lyon County earlier this decade brought on some storage issues, as the machines must be kept in climate-controlled rooms, something not required for the old voting machines.

NY: Verona lever voting machines set up wrong * (lever)
November 4, 2009. VERONA -- The six voting districts of Verona were forced to use paper ballots after a mishap with the lever machines.

Due to the improper setup of the machines, no votes were able to be cast for Verona Republican candidate Scott Musacchio. Since the polls opened at 6 a.m., 935 people voted across the six districts before the problem was reported to the Oneida County Board of Elections.
While the machines were being fixed 209 voters were required to cast their votes on paper ballots, which will be counted by hand by the board of elections.

NY: CITY OF TONAWANDA: Second ward race on hold *
Residents of the City of Tonawanda’s second ward will have to wait more than a week to find out who will be representing them next year.
Pilozzi said in talking to Republican Erie County Elections Commissioner Ralph Mohr she was told a breakdown in communication was to blame, possibly due to a lack of familiarity with reading results from new voting machines.

“When they called in the numbers, they accidentally missed some districts or gave the wrong numbers, because they didn’t have the right number of people who voted,” Pilozzi said...

NY: Oneida County to proceed as if lever voting machines had worked right
November 4, 2009

NY:Voting machine crash adds drama to council election in Corning's First Ward*(optical scan)
Winner may not be known for weeks (why would it take weeks,you just count the paper)
It could be weeks before residents in Corning's First Ward know who will represent them on the Corning City Council, thanks to a faulty voting machine.
Steuben County is using new optical scan voting machines. There were no other reports of malfunctioning machines Tuesday, election officials said.

OH: Smooth sailing helps repair county's election image
5 November 2009. Cuyahoga County continued to shed its reputation as a home to
troublesome elections with another smooth vote count Tuesday night.

Final, unofficial results were tallied by midnight - a lightning-quick
finish compared with elections in recent years, when votes were still
being counted as dawn neared.

Cuyahoga elections, including last year's presidential race, have become
more successful in large part because the Board of Elections has found a
voting system it is comfortable with, Director Jane Platten said. The
current system, in which paper ballots are scanned at the polls,
replaced a problematic touch-screen system that was scrapped in late
2007 - less than two years after it was introduced.

PA: Taylor councilman's recount request might signal a wave * (straight ticket programming problem, ES&S)
November 6, 2009. Lackawanna County election results Election results in question after voting machine glitch discovered
Claiming straight-party votes for him were never counted, backers of a Taylor councilman defeated in his bid for re-election filed Friday the first of what could become a wave of requests to recount votes cast in the election Tuesday.

The petition on Councilman George P. Aulisio's behalf by three borough voters came a day after Lackawanna County Director of Elections Maryann Spellman Young announced a glitch in computer coding resulted in a failure to count up to 2,452 straight-party votes for two city candidates, Councilwoman Janet Evans in the council race and Councilman Bill Courtright for tax collector. Both had Republican and Democratic nominations.

PA: UPDATE: Seven voting machines in Erie County uncounted *
Nov 4, 2009. Erie County election officials have discovered seven voting machines whose vote totals are not currently included in the county's unofficial vote count for Tuesday's municipal election, a situation that could affect the tight race for Erie County executive.

Five of the seven machines are at Millcreek Township voting districts and voting districts in Concord Township and Fairview each have one machine that was not tabulated, said Doug Smith, the Erie County clerk of elections.

PA: Erie County Controller Weber wants election-related audit
Nov 6, 2009. Erie County Controller Sue Weber will examine how Erie County votes are handled in the wake of the tight race for Erie County executive between Democrat Barry Grossman and Republican Mike Kerner.

TN: Odom To Hargett: Court Has Ruled Now Do Your Job
November 5, 2009...“The court has ruled that it is time for the secretary of state’s office to stop dragging its feet and to provide for paper balloting for all of our voting machines in Tennessee elections by 2010,” said Odom. “To do anything less is to ignore your duty as secretary of state.”

TN: Judge Says No to TVCA Injunction, Yes to Crucial Plaintiff Claim
A Nashville judge has refused to issue a temporary injunction against state officials in the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act (TVCA) case brought by Common Cause, according to website stories quickly filed by The City Paper and The Tennessean.

But Chancellor Russell Perkins also declared that the TVCA does NOT require use of voting machines that meet 2005 standards, as contended by Secretary of State Tre Hargett based on a legislative lawyer's memo.

TN: Judge Declines Voter Confidence Act Injunction, But Says State Must Comply With Law
November 5, 2009. A Nashville judge on Thursday declined to order the state election commission to immediately comply with the 2008 statute Tennessee’s Voter Confidence Act.
The judge said, “The court finds that the Tennessee Voter Confidence Act does not require the voting system to be implemented by the state of Tennessee to meet 2005 standards.

“The court determines that the state is obligated to take prompt, effective steps to meet the statutory deadline using compliant voting systems.”

UT: Glitch stalls Ogden vote tabulation* (auto feeder on scanners)
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009 Ogden officials are blaming slow reports of votes in Tuesday's election on a breakdown in tabulation equipment.

Ogden city recorder Cindi Mansell said the autofeeders, which run optical-scan ballots through scanners, broke Tuesday night, meaning workers had to feed each of the city's 6,200 ballots through the machines. Then, a software glitch didn't allow the recorder's office to run both optical-scan machines at the same time

VA: Low Turnout in Virginia: It's Also About Felon Disenfranchisement
...Almost 400,000 Virginians have no voting rights for this reason. About 300,000 of them are not in jail, but rather have already served their entire sentence. In fact, many of them, although convicted of a felony, have never even been in jail because their crime did not merit jail time. In total, 6.8 percent of Virginians are barred from democracy.

VA: Mistake causes delays in election results * (data entry error on spreadsheet)
The Montgomery County registrar's office didn't get local election results into the State Board of Elections' system until almost midnight Tuesday, leaving some residents questioning who won races.
A data-entry error from the county caused the State Board of Elections to report that Leonard Session won the District D seat on the Montgomery County School Board when incumbent Jamie Bond was the actual winner.
That is the only error Wertz has found, but state election officials will be canvassing to ensure accuracy during the next two days


Uncounted Ballots: A Measure of Vulnerability
November 5, 2009...Conceptually, the three biggest categories of uncounted ballots are: (1) late-arriving absentee ballots that are potentially still eligible(mostly military and overseas ballots); (2) rejected absentee ballots that may have been rejected in error; and (3) provisional ballots that still need to be evaluated. Together, these ballots form a rough measure of a state’s vulnerability to a post-voting dispute in the event of a close result on election night...

The Hill’s Blog Asks U.S. Leaders to Comment on Independent/Third Party Political Activity
November 6th, 2009

Voting News by Joyce McCloy.
Archives here at
Subscribe to receive the Voting News by email by visiting this link:
email comments, questions us at ncvoter (at)

"The Voting News is a free service made possible in part by support from Verified Voting Foundation. You can help support the Voting News by sending a check to Verified Voting Foundation, PO Box 4104, Carlsbad, CA 92018. Be sure to note "for Voting News" in the memo line of your check! Your contribution is tax deductible to the extent permitted by law."
Donate online at this link:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments must be approved to eliminate spamming.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.