As we suspected tabulation of ballots has revealed problems with voting systems from all of the vendors. Hillsborough Co Florida is rethinking their contract with Premier/Diebold for $6M after having big problems counting votes. Manatee Co Florida also had a problem with Premier. Palm Beach Co had bad memory cartridges from Sequoia. Counties in Pennsylvania and South Carolina had problems with their ES&S system. We also have a run-off for senator from Georgia and a recount for senator from Minnesota. This election will last for another month at least....
According to today's Island Packet voters on Hilton Head Island (Beaufort County), South Carolina discovered that some races were missing on the final review screen of the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machines, at the end of the voting process, after voters completed their selections...
Several days ago, in this space, we recommended that voters who have the ability to vote “straight party” do not exercise that right. Yes, it is easier because all you have to do is mark one box on the ballot for the top-of-the-ticket votes are all taken care of for you. However, consider this. In North Carolina (and South Carolina also) the “straight party” vote does NOT include President.
According to the first “Featured” article, ballots in North Carolina have the following words: “A Straight Party vote is a vote for all candidates of that party in partisan offices. Individual partisan office selections are not necessary if you select a Straight Party below.” What the ballot doesn’t tell you is that this does not include President. How many thousands of voters will vote straight-party but not for President in North and South Carolina?
In our second “Featured” article we learn another good reason not to vote straight party. New Mexico is one of the states that allows straight party voting, including the presidential race. However, if the ballots are not properly programmed and thorough pre-election testing is not accomplished, there is no telling what may be the result of voting straight party. Voters should not take a chance that the county has tested thoroughly. Voters should not take a chance that their machine may not even register straight party votes for their party while it does for the other party. Don’t trust them. Forego the “straight party” selection and pick each candidate individually.
The straight party states are: North Carolina, South Carolina, New Mexico, Utah, Oklahoma, Texas, Alabama, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, and Rhode Island. ...
As you'll note by the increase in items in John Gideon's Daily Voting News, coverage of election concerns is again reaching a fevered pitch. When it comes to election machines, most of those reports come far too late to effect any real change (other than perhaps to help encourage election officials to ensure there will be plenty of paper ballots on hand, to make sure they tell voters and poll workers about them, and then to finally count those damned ballots!)
It's clear, however, that while most election officials likely do their job honestly, there are a great number of them around the country who have little interest in voters --- certain voters --- being allowed to excercise their franchise at all.
While there is little time to do much about the machines, as they prepare to melt down, there is still time do something on the front-end voter suppression issues. Yet sadly, despite a few spotty efforts around the country, it seems those parties that do have an interest in voters actually voting (such as Obama and the DNC) have little clue about what they are facing. At least from what I've been able to learn about coordinated plans --- or lack thereof --- to combat the Republican assault on voting.
And, all the while, as Democrats dither, the well-coordinated Republican War on Democracy continues apace around the country, with new and disturbing reports coming out almost by the hour, revealing the national extent of the GOP's anti-democracy campaign.
The effort, by a number of election officials in so-called "swing states" around the country, meant to keep Democratic-leaning voters, such as students and minorities, from casting votes this year, is remarkable and growing. It is, of course, also appalling...
With "friends" like Markos Moulitsas at Daily Kos, Democrats may not need Republicans to help them lose this year. Once again, the namesake of the largest supposedly-Progressive blogsite in the world misleads his readers, confuses issues of Election Integrity with unmade allegations of "conspiracy theories," and otherwise makes all-new extraordinary claims which are wholly unsupported by any evidence, extraordinary or otherwise.
The damage he and his minions are personally causing to the fight for verified, transparent elections is becoming greater than we can possibly describe. But we'll try...
Columbia (WLTX)- In hopes of averting another weekend of voting problems, the South Carolina Progessive Network is offering online paper ballots.
It's in response to last weekends Republican primary disaster in Horry and Florence counties. More than 80 percent of the voting machines in Horry County didn't work.
As a result, many voters were told to come back at another time to cast thier votes. The state Election Commission says voters should have been allowed to use any scrap paper to cast thier votes.
SCPN is suggesting that voters go to their website and print out the paper ballot to take with them to the polls Saturday.
To print out your online paper ballot, click on the following link: www.scpronet.com.
Last week, as The BRAD BLOG reported, machines in 100% of the precincts in Horry County, SC couldn't even be made to start working until noon or so in the Republican Primary. Folks were voting on any scrap of paper they could find, reportedly even paper towels. So now, it's print your own.
South Carolina uses DRE (touch-screen) voting systems made by ES&S. It will be literally and physically impossible to verify that a single vote has been recorded accurately on any of them. 100% faith-based voting. So, short of machines breaking down leading to the outrage of people not being unable to vote at all, or a huge undervote rate in some area (as we saw when 18,000 votes "disappeared" on the exact same machines in the 369 vote margin Jennings/Buchanan race in Sarasota's FL-13 Congressional election in '06 on the exact same machines) we'll likely have little to say about the results of today's Democratic Primary in the Palmetto State one way or another. Our guess will be as good (or bad) as theirs. Best of luck to ya, South Carolina.
By way of depressing reminder: This Election Year is just 26 days old.
Following on our report last Saturday of massive voting machine failures that kept voters from voting for hours in Horry County, SC, Kitty Pilgrim, on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight (video at left), reported yesterday on plans for SC to use the same machines again in this Saturday's Democratic primary.
At the same time, the Governor and Legislature in Colorado are finally beginning to get it, and simply override the incompetent SoS there, who can't seem to say "E-Voting machines that don't work should NOT be used in elections." So the Legislature appears ready to do it for him.
We're also happy to see the good John Bonifaz, of VoterAction.org, making an appearance to call for accountability (let's get our money back!) from the voting machine companies that have knowingly defrauded America.
And a NOTE TO KITTY PILGRIM: Your reporting keeps discussing "paperless voting machines" in reference to Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) machines that have no "paper trail." Adding "paper trails" to such machines is meaningless. They cannot be verified as reflecting the voter intent anymore than on a DRE without "paper trails."
If you stop and look carefully at your own reporting on SC last week, you'll note that the machines would not work at all until noon, as folks were scrambling to vote on scraps of paper, paper towels, etc. Had those DREs had "paper trails," they still would not have worked, and voters still would not have been able to vote on them.
References to "paperless voting machines" imply that machines with "paper trails" are somehow a solution. They are not. Only paper ballots are a solution. This is something that even Rep. Rush Holt's latest "Emergency Bill" doesn't seem to understand, incredibly enough. That bill (referenced in the CNN report above) would give money to jurisdictions to move to paper ballots, but only if they use "paperless" DREs. If they have DREs with "paper trails," however, they would not be eligible for that money under Holt's bill as written, incredibly enough.
Let's be careful what we wish for and/or report on, guys!
As usual, another Democratic candidate is revealing a sour grapes conspiracy theory, claiming that voting machines were the reason for his loss, after alleging that hundreds of ES&S touch-screen systems failed to work on Election Day, turning away an untold number of voters.
Oh, wait, the complainant was a Republican, not a Democrat. And he, John McCain, didn't lose, he won, in South Carolina where, CNN reported yesterday, the touch-screen voting machines in 100% of the precincts in Horry County failed to boot up and weren't available for voters to use until noon.
Go figure. Other than that, everything is going very well, and anybody who says otherwise is unnecessarily crying wolf and causing a dangerous lack of confidence in our electoral system.
Local media and CNN are reporting that Horry County South Carolina's ES&S touch-screen voting machines are in a near total meltdown.
Poll workers in Horry County tell CNN voting machines have been down since polls opened Saturday morning throughout the county — the machines are not reading an activation card.
Workers have been giving out paper ballots but at least one precinct has run out of envelopes to seal them in (not a sign of turnout — they had just 23 such ballots on hand). Election workers say that officials have told them they are working precinct by precinct to fix the problem and that a few voting machines may now be running, but some voters have been turned away and asked to check back later.
Three poll workers also tell CNN the county has about 100 precincts and all have been affected. CNN is awaiting a call back from the county's election supervisor.
Malfunctioning voting machines plagued Horry County, which contains the cities of Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, according to poll workers. Workers said the machines have been down since polls opened at 7 a.m., and they are not reading activation cards.
Workers were handing out paper ballots, but at least one precinct has run out --- it had only 23 on hand. Poll workers said the county has about 100 precincts, and all of them are affected.
This is happening in a state where election officials were recently asked about their paperless ES&S iVotronic touch-screen (DRE) voting system and the fact that other states have found the machines to be insecure, poorly designed, inaccurate, and not accessible for voters with disabilities. These officials have all said that they anticipated a smooth voting process for both the Republican presidential preference primary on Jan. 19 and the Democratic primary on Jan. 26 in South Carolina....
After announcing last night (video here) that would not file to be on the Republican ballot, due to the exorbitant $35,000 filing fee ("I am not willing to write a $35,000 check to the Republican Party. ... I understand you have to keep a club exclusive but I paid less for my black-market liver"), Stephen Colbert said that he had filed the $2,500 required to be on the Democratic ballot in South Carolina's Presidential Primary.
The decision about whether the S.C. Dems would then allow him to be on the ballot was to be announced during tonight's broadcast. Politico beats him to the punch, however, with their report today that the S.C. Dems have rejected his application.
Willie Horton lives! At least in spirit. At least on Fox "News" anyway, where fears of rampant, uncontrollable black people running wild still rule the day! And they're even voting now! The "fear" of double-voting in next year's South Carolina Presidential primary is thoughtfully illustrated at left for us by the nice white men at Fox "News."
As Greg Sargent, who caught this item yesterday pointed out about this clip: "Notice anything missing? As in, non-black voters?"
Black people voting! Twice! Run for the hills!
The report ran yesterday, on Special Jim Crow Report with Brit Hume at the very least. It was probably repeated throughout the day, we're guessing. No mention of the actual recent indictment for double-voting by the white GOP aide of the white Republican Congressman from North Carolina, Rep. Patrick McHenry. Nor, of course, of the demonstrable felony voter fraud in Florida, by white GOP superstar Ann Coulter.
A commenter over at DU asked which states used the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting system found vulnerable to an undetectable countywide vote-flipping virus which can be implanted by a single person, as we reported this morning.
Based on our quick review of a county-by-county database of voting systems, sorted by state, as made available by Common Cause (EXCEL spreadsheet downloadable here) just prior to the November 2006 elections, it looks like the answer is 16 states in total.
Since the EAC refuses, as our report detailed, to do their job in notifying Elections Officials about this incredibly serious vulnerability, it looks like it's up to you to notify your state's Secretary of State and/or county Election Officials! Details on the vulnerability and mitigating steps that may be taken are detailed in this brief report at VotersUnite.org as written by a computer scientist and voting system expert well familiar with the newly discovered flaw. Please refer your voting officials to both our original article, and that scientific report for more details at the following URLs: