The drumbeat of reports from around the country of touch-screen voting machines failing during Early Voting continues to grow. These aren't "glitches." These are failures.
So far, the reports have all involved Democratic (or Green) votes flipping to, or otherwise benefitting, Republican candidates. In South Florida, St. Louis County, Missouri, Virginia, Arkansas, Dallas, and now San Antonio, Texas.
While I was guesting this evening on the Chris Duel show on KTSA News-Talk 550 AM, we received a call from Democratic State Rep. Jose Menendez, who reported several incidents that have come to the attenion of his office during Early Voting, which is already under way in San Antonio. The reports concern votes flipping and candidates not showing up on the summary screens of Bexar County's paperless ES&S touch-screen systems.
During the short interview (audio posted in full at end of this article) Menendez reported an incident involving a teacher in his district who noticed that one of the candidates wasn't showing up on the confirmation summary screen. I later learned off air that the missing candidate was Menendez.
Another incident involved a voter who voted for a straight party ticket only to have it flip to a straight party ticket vote for the other party.
Menendez didn't identify which parties were involved while on air. Since then, Duel followed up to let me know that the straight party ticket the voter intended to vote for was Democratic and it flipped to Republican.
Menendez said during the interview that he now plans to file legislation requiring a paper "trail" on all voting machines across the state of Texas where none are (incredibly) now required. As you'll hear, I made it clear that it's paper ballots that are needed, not uncountable and uncounted so-called paper "trails." For the moment, his efforts are unfortunately too little, too late to do anything for 2006. While he may not have realized the dangers to our democracy and national security until now, Bexar County Election Administrator Jacquelyn F. Callanen has no such excuse. She needs to be held directly accountable for her failure to provide an auditable voting system to her voters.
Callanen, however, seems to be selling Menendez and other concerned citizens the usual bill of goods, as most of the country's election directors are now doing in hopes of saving their jobs. I pointed out in no uncertain terms, hopefully, on air during the interview, that Callanen needs to be held accountable. Her office's number is: 210-335-VOTE, and their webpage is here. Here's the interview...
-- AUDIO: Brad on the Chris Duel Show with Rep. Mendendez, 10/30/06 [MP3, Appx 16 minutes]
UPDATE: Votes reported to be hopping from Democrat to Republican also now in Jefferson County, TX. Details here...