Vote Watch 2004
Vote/Election fraud, vote suppression, voting irregularities, voter intimidation in Election 2004



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11/16/04_3 [Permalink]
Older News from Indiana: Vote machine company Elections Systems and Software (ES&S) has a legacy of installing illegal software and lying about it

BradBlog has some pertinent links:

A series of investigative stories (here, here, and here) by in Indianapolis from April of this year, have just come to my attention (sent by several different readers).

They concern yet more troubling reports about the Election Systems & Software (ES&S) company, who's software and tabulating machines, along with Diebold's, are responsible for tabulating about 80% of the votes in America. Both companies were founded by the same man, who just happens, along with the rest of their Boards of Directors to be big donor/supporters of the Republican Party.

The series of reports from WISHTV earlier this year tell of ES&S employees surreptitiously installing illegal, uncertified software, into the voting and tabulating machines in Marion County, Indiana. They then ordered their regional ES&S project manager to lie about it to county officials. She refused. As had her husband in a previous ES&S incident, where he was also a project manager, in a different Indiana county. He was fired for his refusal.

In one of the reports, the Marion County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler is quoted as saying that ES&S "has willfully and purposely deceived me and the Marion County election board...[W]ith complete disregard for business ethics and with intent to deceive, [ES&S] deliberately worked to keep their actions from the Marion County election board and its employees."

The county's election board vice chair added, "Throughout the process, there have been missteps and outright fabrications and mistruths given to us by the vendor implementing the election process."

The assiduous BRAD BLOG readers will note that ES&S has popped up time and time again in so many of these stories of "irregularities" related to electronic voting and tabulating machines. Amongst the many troubling incidents so far reported here:

Additionally, DailyKos reported late last night on yet another Indiana county where the U.S. Congressional results are now in doubt and a recount may be coming shortly due to revelations from nearby Franklin County where a recount was already held after it was discovered that the optical-scan tabulating machine was counting straight Democratic ticket votes as Libertarian votes!


11/16/04_2 [Permalink]
Voter registration forms never turned in lead to ballot disqualifications in Indiana

Via Votersunite, a report from a local NBC affiliate:

"This needs to be addressed because there's definitely a big gaping hole there." Emily Luvberg didn't get to vote.

She and countless others thought they registered at pop up voter registration sites. Luvberg signed up at a cultural event.

But days before the election she found her name missing from the rolls. Others didn't find out until they tried to cast a vote. "It was extremely upsetting because just like everybody else, I had a vested interest in this election."

The government designed a new federal provisional ballot as a safety net. A provisional ballot gives a voter who would otherwise be turned away one last chance to make their vote count. But even with that, there's no guarantee.

In Hendricks County, where Lovberg's registration never showed up, officials handed out 102 provisional ballots.

But how many counted? Hendricks County Election Supervisor Laura Herzog says, "Unfortunately, none of them were actually able to be counted."

And Luvberg's reaction, "wow!"

Election officials say missing initials voided some, but in most cases there was no confirmation of voter registration.

"We don't regulate these voter registration drives by any means," says Herzog, "so unfortunately some of those applications might not always make it to the proper county office."

Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita points out, "There is no crime to ask people to register to vote. It is a crime, however, if you intentionally fail to turn in that person's voter registration form."


11/16/04_1 [Permalink]
Straight party votes for Democrat registered as votes for Libertarian and vice versa in Franklin County, Indiana. Additionally, other irregularities such as unvoted ballots and "programming errors".

Via Votersunite, a report in the Palladium-Item:

Franklin County isn't the only Indiana county that had programming troubles with optical scan voting equipment this year.

Ripley, Brown and Carroll counties each had a different problem, ranging from handcounting a race because the software program didn't comply with Indiana law to 63 unvoted ballots in one precinct, according to the scanner's tally tape.

The Legislature decided this year that all voting systems will get another look next year. Certification of voting systems approved by the Indiana Election Commission before Jan. 1, 2005, expires on Oct. 1, 2005, said Kate Shepherd, communications director for Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita.


Voting systems already must undergo a public test in each county before the election and that's where Ripley County discovered an error with Fidlar Election Co. optical scan memory cards, Ripley County Clerk Ginger Bradford said.

The memory cards that count the votes in optical scanners had the wrong precinct labels, so the cards were sent back to the company, Bradford said. Bradford said she didn't know if the error could be called a programming error.

"They reprogrammed the cards when they got them back, so it sounds maybe like it was a programming error," Bradford said.

A programming error in Fidlar optical scanners in Franklin County led to a recount last week. The error caused straight-party Democratic ballots to be counted for Libertarian candidates and straight-party Libertarian ballots to be counted for Democratic candidates, Fidlar officials said.

The recount changed the outcome of the election, awarding one of three seats to formerly defeated Democrat Carroll Lanning and taking a seat from the initially declared winner, Republican Roy N. Hall. Hall is considering a challenge.

Carroll County, with optical scanners from Election Systems and Software (ES&S), had to handcount county council votes in its 19 precincts on election day. The Indiana Election Commission determined the computer program didn't comply with Indiana law for that office, Carroll County Clerk Laura Sterrett said.


11/12/04 [Permalink]
Over 50,000 votes not counted in Democratic Indiana county due to electronic voting machine "glitch"

BradBlog has the details:

This time, "something zapped it" in a heavily Democratic country in Indiana:

"Maybe there was a power surge," LaPorte County Clerk Lynne Spevak said. "Something zapped it."

At about 7 p.m. Tuesday, it was noticed that the first two or three printouts from individual precinct reports all listed an identical number of voters. Each precinct was listed as having 300 registered voters.

That means the total number of voters for the county would be 22,200, although there are actually more than 79,000 registered voters.
Spevak said workers at the clerk's office thought a computer correction could be done once they received a software patch from Election Systems and Software, the Chicago company that provided the tabulation software. However, the patch did not work.

"We thought we could get a copy of it e-mailed file to us and start all over, but once the program was downloaded from Chicago, it still didn't work right," Spevak said.


11/11/04 [Permalink]
Indiana County orders voting machine audit after voting machine breakdowns and reports of "straight-party" votes for Democrats showing up as votes for Republicans

Via reader radtimes, here is a report in The Courier Press:

The Vanderburgh County Commissioners voted unanimously to conduct an "independent audit" of the Nov. 2 election results, following complaints about possible malfunctions of the county's touch-screen voting machines. Reports of breakdowns of the machines and long voter lines that forced some voters to wait up to three hours to cast their ballots set the stage for the decision at Monday's meeting.

The commissioners agreed to seek proposals this week from information-security firms that specialize in elections and agreed to appoint a Republican and a Democrat to help oversee the audit process. 

"We need to make sure this equipment was working properly," said commissioners president Catherine Fanello, who last week issued a call for an independent evaluation of the performance of voting equipment used in the election. Fanello cited a series of complaints from election workers and voters, as well as reports around the country of other counties confronting problems with their touch-screen voting machines. Vanderburgh County is leasing the machines under a five-year, $2.9 million agreement.

Among the complaints Fanello said she'd heard was that the machines, manufactured by Election Systems & Software, malfunctioned for some who tried to cast "straight-party" ballots. Some who cast straight-party Democratic ballots saw their votes show up as votes for the Republican Party. Despite assurances from a company official that the equipment had passed federal standards and had withstood rigorous testing, Fanello said any computer-based technology has the potential to go awry.



















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