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irregularities in Maryland, mostly involving malfunctioning
touch-screen machines; hundreds of student voters told that their
registrations were invalid
here are various reports.
complained about missing races on their ballots and the
hypersensitivity of the screens, which caused them to accidentally
vote for the wrong candidate. Machines malfunctioned at several
polling places, leaving voters waiting in line. And some people
weren't ready when machines automatically skipped forward to the
Linda Schade, whose
group TrueVoteMD stationed volunteers at polling places across the
state to record voter complaints, said the group had received more
than 400 phone calls by late afternoon. A national watchdog
organization that monitored polls across the country reported more
than 1,000 electronic voting problems.
"We got lots of
calls about some pretty serious stuff, I feel," Schade said.
Several of the group's volunteers returned from the polls last night
with reports of vote counts that did not match the check-in numbers.
Hundreds of student
voters at the University of Maryland, College Park, were turned away
because they had been improperly registered by a campus
organization. Students lined up at the Stamp Student Union, many to
cast their first vote. But once inside, many were told their
registrations weren't processed properly because the paperwork for
500 new voters never made it to the Board of Elections.
Those students were
told to cast provisional ballots, which will be counted next week if
the voters are deemed legitimate.
One complaint heard
across Maryland was that voters were a little uncomfortable with a
lack of privacy, which allowed others to see how they cast their
should have included a curtain," said Towson University student
Katie Masterson, 23, after voting at Germantown Elementary School in
Nine voting machines
ran out of battery power and nearly 40 votes may have been lost in
Palm Beach County, the first major problem reported on Election Day
in the state that was the epicenter of the election fiasco four
The nine machines at
a Boynton Beach precinct weren't plugged in properly, and their
batteries wore down around 9:30 a.m., said Marty Rogol spokesman for
Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Theresa LePore.
Poll clerk Joyce Gold
said 37 votes appeared to be missing after she compared the computer
records to the sign-in sheet. Elections officials won't know exactly
how many votes were lost until after polls close.
She said voters
seemed "very distressed" at the prospect of losing their
happened I was really panicking. They were panicking," Gold
software running on the touch-screen machines used across the state
failed to record some votes correctly, jumped to other pages on the
ballot without being prompted by the voter and inadvertently omitted
some political races, according to TrueVoteMD, a nonpartisan
citizens’ group focused on protecting voting integrity.
have received hundreds of calls from across the state,” said Bob
Ferraro, the group’s co-director, said Tuesday afternoon.
group set up a voter hotline and deployed 600 poll watchers throughout
Maryland to monitor its new touch screen voting machines manufactured
by Diebold Inc. of North Canton, Ohio.
officials at the Maryland State Board of Elections said they had
received no reports of any major problems. The only problem the board
reported yesterday was a failure to have a piece of equipment capable
of encoding voter access cards available at one precinct, said Pamela
Woodside, the election board’s chief information officer. That was
attributed to human error, not equipment failure, she said.
offered several anecdotal stories of touch-screen software mishaps
encountered by voters. A woman in Baltimore County pushed her
selection for president and senator repeatedly, but couldn’t get the
machine to register her choice properly. A man in Montgomery County
said the machine skipped right past the presidential and senate races.
A woman in Montgomery County tried to make her selection for the
county school board, but the machine advanced to the next screen after
she had chosen only half of the candidates.
advancing to the next screen on the electronic ballot before a voter
has completed casting his or her vote was a new occurrence in the
presidential election, Ferraro said.