Wednesday, November 08, 2006

E-Voting Glitches Abound

E-Voting Glitches Abound: Five States with the Biggest Problems: "counties in at least seven states—Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and South Carolina—extended polling hours as a result of system glitches.

Montana: Voting glitches in Yellowstone, Gallatin and Flathead counties prevented Montana from completing its tally last night, reports ABC News. As a result, election officials are currently recounting ballots by hand and hope to have the results later today.

Indiana: Like most states, Indiana's e-voting problems surfaced early in the day. According to The New York Times (registration required) roughly half of the 914 precincts in Marion County (which includes Indianapolis) reported problems getting machines to start in the early hours, and 175 were forced to resort to paper ballots as a result. In Delaware County, officials extended voting hours to 8:45 p.m. after a glitch kept citizens in 75 precincts from voting.

Ohio: In Ohio, problems with e-voting systems were so prevalent that Franklin County's phone system crashed for 90 minutes under the weight of resulting phone calls, reported the Columbus Dispatch. Meanwhile, state Rep. Jean Schmidt's ballot was rejected by the machine at her local precinct, causing it to be put aside to be counted later. Reuters reported that Cincinnati republican incumbent Rep. Steve Chabot was turned away from the polls because he lacked proper identification.

New Jersey: In New Jersey, where all voters in the state's 21 counties used e-voting systems, State Attorney General Stuart Rabner was asked to probe claims that some machines were preset with votes for the Democratic Senate candidate. Some precincts in Camden County reported problems with voting systems provided by Sequoia Inc., and county elections superintendent Phyllis Pearl told that roughly 35 of the county's 700 machines had "printer or mechanical malfunctions."

Colorado: The Denver post reported widespread problems in Colorado's capital. Lawyers for the state's Democratic Party requested that polls remain open for two additional hours in Denver County because of a problem with poll books, but their request was denied. Colorado allows voters to cast ballots anywhere in their respective county; a centralized statewide voter database is used to track where their votes are cast. But network connection issues prevented the database from working properly in the morning, and the system crashed in the afternoon. As a result, many precincts resorted to paper provisional ballots; some voters were turned away when the paper ballots ran out.

Elsewhere: Smaller glitches were reported across other states as well. In Florida, voting was held up when the electronic activators used to start some e-voting machines in Broward County were accidentally erased. In Mississippi, where voters returned to the polls for the first time since Hurricane Katrina, confusing Diebold touchscreen systems slowed elections, reported

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