Guest Blogged by John Gideon of VotersUnite.org
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...
But when she reviewed her selections before actually casting the ballot, she noticed that her two picks for the Bluffton Town Council did not register. Her husband had the same problem.
With the assistance of a Hilton Head employee, the two attempted to re-cast their ballots. Again, it didn't work.
They resolved the problem by casting paper ballots for the council race, Nancy Roe said.
"I'm real political, so I checked the ballot," she said. "If I had only given it a quick glance and punched 'vote,' I never would've known."
During the South Carolina primary, as The BRAD BLOG reported at the time, ES&S iVotronics in at least one county failed to work at all, leading to voters scrambling to cast votes on scraps of paper, and even paper towels! Here we have another instance of South Carolina election officials failing to do required pre-election testing. These instances should never happen but they are happening all too often in this state that relies heavily on their failed voting system vendor.
Last week, the same ES&S iVotronic touch-screens were reported to have been flipping votes in two WV counties, and yesterday, in one TN county. We'll have another report, on votes flipping on ES&S iVotronics in yet another TN county today shortly. [Update: That story now here...]
In August of 2007 --- in time to actually do something about it --- HDNet ran a scathing investigative exposé (video here) on the very same ES&S iVotronics, the terrible quality-control practices in use at their sweatshop in The Philippines and the tendency of the machines to break down and flip votes. The report was almost entirely ignored by the entirety of the rest of the media.
It's time to get these machines the hell out of service.
UPDATE: 10/23/08, 12:25pm PT: South Carolina's Island Packet says the problem is now "resolved". But it isn't. The paper explains this way:
Obama, for example --- and that candidate's name appears on the final review screen.
However, in the races for Bluffton Town and Beaufort City councils, voters can choose up to two candidates. In those cases, the machine shows voters only that they've picked the correct number of candidates
without showing the candidates' names, according to Eric Montgomery, a county election equipment specialist.
So on the ES&S iVotronic the review screen does not show the names of the voters selections when the race is a "choose two" or more. It only tells the voter that they chose two candidates (for instance).
The Help American Vote Act of 2002, however, requires that the voter be able to review and verify their selections. Not a number, but their selections:
(a) Requirements.--Each voting system used in an election for Federal office shall meet the following requirements:
(1) In general.--
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the voting system (including any lever voting system, optical scanning voting system, or direct recording electronic system) shall--
(i) permit the voter to verify (in a private and independent manner) the votes selected by the voter on the ballot before the ballot is cast and counted;
(ii) provide the voter with the opportunity (in a private and independent manner) to change the ballot or correct any error before the ballot is cast and counted (including the opportunity to correct the error through the issuance of a replacement ballot if the voter was otherwise unable to change the ballot or correct any error);