Paperless iVotronic Touch-screen Systems Report Unprecedented Voter Turnout in one AR County, Thousands of Undervotes in U.S. House, Attorney General Race in Four FL Counties
Zero Votes Recorded on ES&S System for Mayoral Candidate in Small Town
By Brad Friedman on 11/12/2006, 8:35am PT  

Orlando Sentinel's coverage on Friday began with these incredible words [emphasis ours]:

Touch-screen-voting machines in at least four Florida counties recorded unusually high percentages of ballots with no votes in Tuesday's election --- a sign that new electronic-ballot machines may not be as foolproof as hoped.

"Not as foolproof as hoped"?!

Just who exactly are the fools they're referring to there?

Electronic voting machines made by ES&S, the largest supplier of voting systems in the country, failed across the country on Election Day. We're beginning to see more and more of the results of the failures from those machines --- as "foolproof," apparently, as the Titanic was "unsinkable."

An unprecedented 83% voter turnout has been reported from ES&S iVotronic paperless touch-screen systems in Benton County, Arkansas, after the Election Commission reviewed it's balloting when it was found that tabulated votes were being dropped from the system as new votes were being entered into it on Tuesday night.

The results: More votes than citizens in several areas of Benton County and an overall turnout described as "eye-popping" by a University of Arkansas political science professor who pointed to Idaho's 63% turnout as having made news for a midterm election record. Idaho's got nothing on Benton County, apparently.

Four different Florida counties are reporting enormous undervote rates on the same type of ES&S iVotronic paperless touch-screen systems in at least one key U.S. House race and in their election for State Attorney General.

And in one small town, ES&S voting machines are reporting zero votes for a mayoral candidate who swears that, yes, he really did vote for himself!

In Arkansas, the Morning News reported on Friday...

BENTONVILLE --- Unprecedented voter turnout in Benton County has again called into question the results of Tuesday's general election.

After the Election Commission reviewed the votes Wednesday, the turnout jumped from 49 percent to 83 percent.
...
Election Systems & Software has a statewide contract to provide voting machines.
...
A close analysis of Thursday's results show in two races, more people voted in a mayoral race than live in the town, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's July 2005 estimates. In Gateway, a town of 122 people, 199 votes were cast in an uncontested mayoral race. In the Pea Ridge, 3,997 votes were cast in a contested mayor's race for the city of 3,344 people.
...
The retabulated results changed the outcome of eight contests, mostly in tight races or races with few votes cast.

The revised Thursday report said 79,331 of 95,900 registered voters, or 83 percent, cast ballots. The original results released on election night said 47,134 voters, or 49 percent, cast ballots.

Perhaps all of those extra votes were shipped up from Florida where the same type of ES&S iVotronic paperless touch-screen machines seem to have completely lost more than 18,000 votes in their 13th Congressional District U.S. House race. That contest, ironically enough, is to fill the seat of former FL Secretary of State and underminer of democracy, Katherine Harris.

Currently, the Republican Vern Buchanan leads the Democratic candidate, Christine Jennings in the FL-13 race by just 373 votes.

The same type of paperless touch-screen machines are also reporting undervote rates of about 20% in three different Florida counties --- totalling some 45,000 votes --- in the state Attorney General race where the Republican Bill McCollum is said to have defeated the Democratic candidate Walter "Skip" Campbell...according to the "foolproof" machine reports anyway.

Perhaps voters thought the candidate's nickname "Skip" was an instruction when reading their electronic "ballot". According to an analysis by the Miami Sentinel...

In Sumter, ballots with no recorded votes --- known as "undervotes" --- accounted for 22 percent of all ballots in the attorney general's race. In Lee, 18 percent of ballots in that race were unvoted, and in Charlotte, 21 percent were blank.

By comparison, undervotes in those same counties in the U.S. Senate race were no higher than 1.5 percent.

Not bad enough for you? (Oh, please make our day, New York Times and Associated Press and tell us again how well things went on Tuesday!) Back up in Arkansas, Randy Wooten, a mayoral candidate in the small town of Waldenburg in Poinsette County seems to have received ZERO votes in total.

Though the town has just 80 voters, it seems unlikely Wooten would have failed to have voted for himself at the very least. He says that he did. He's deciding whether to get a court order to open the machines to try and check the totals. We hope he does. His town uses both ES&S optical-scan and touch-screen systems.

Back after the March 7th Republican primary election in Texas, The BRAD BLOG reported on another candidate who received zero votes on ES&S voting machines. Former state Supreme Court Justice Steve Smith, contested the election after he lost by 100% in Winkler County. He had won handily in that county previously, winning by 74% in 2002 and 65% in 2004. In the same election, ES&S and Hart Intercivic voting machines added a full 100,000 phantom votes to the tally in Tarrant County (Fort Worth), TX.

Of course, the ES&S failures were legion all across the country during this year's primaries --- in Arkansas, Missouri, Indiana, Texas and elsewhere. So this is one train wreck that at least BRAD BLOG readers certainly saw coming.

Other than that though, everything's just fine.