Vote glitch reports pile up in US election (Update)

Nov 06, 2012 by Rob Lever
Residents vote on Election Day at the Alhambra Fire Station #71 in Alhambra, Los Angeles County. Some computer problems, as well as human ones, drew complaints across the country as millions of Americans went to the polls.

Voting went smoothly in Tuesday's US elections, except when it didn't. Some computer problems, as well as human ones, drew complaints across the country as millions of Americans went to the polls.

One Pennsylvania voter highlighted a problem with voting machines on YouTube, complete with video, in which a touchscreen changed his choice from President Barack Obama to Republican Mitt Romney.

"I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted," the man wrote. "I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

This was not the first allegation of foul-ups with electronic machines.

In Ohio, some Republicans claimed machines were changing Romney votes to Obama, while Democrats accused Republican state officials of installing untested "experimental" software at the last minute.

To make matters worse in the crucial swing state, some voting machines were malfunctioning in parts of the Cleveland area, said The Plain Dealer, which quoted election officials as saying ballots would be counted even if scanning machines were down.

In New Jersey, a late decision to allow voters displaced by superstorm Sandy to cast ballots by email caused confusion and frustration.

"Oh no! email box for Essex County Clerk's box is full. No one can email in their ballots," said a tweet from one resident.

Betsy Morais, a writer for The New Yorker, found similar glitches. Her email bounced back.

"I tried again, and once more the message failed. It took three tries to get through to the clerk's office by phone. 'Oh, you can just go online to our Web site to find the ballot and fax it in,' I was told. I was confused."

Another source of confusion was a last-minute modification, hours before polls opened, stipulating that voters needed to mail in paper ballots as a verification of the email vote.

The news website Buzzfeed reported that in two major New Jersey counties, email addresses advertised on the county clerk's website were down, and that one county clerk posted his hotmail address on Facebook for voters.

That in turn prompted a Facebook response from one netizen, who said, "Using your personal hotmail address for official use is very dangerous and quite likely illegal."

In Benton County, Arkansas, officials ran out of paper ballots, local television reported. Voters, who normally have an option to vote electronically or on paper, only had the e-vote option.

Barbara Arnwine of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law said that in Pennsylvania, some voters were told they needed photo identification, even though state law has no such requirement.

"This is the fault of the Pennsylvania state government," Arnwine said, noting that Pennsylvania passed a voter ID law, but a court blocked it from being enforced.

An "election protection hotline" set up up the lawyers' committee said voters complained of "chaos" in some Florida precincts, with waits of up to five hours.

In Palm Beach County, Florida, epicenter of the 2000 punch card debacle, local television reported voting was delayed by a printing machine malfunction.

Elsewhere in Florida, the Tampa Bay Times reported that hundreds of voters received automated "robo-calls" telling them the election was Wednesday.

An official told the paper a glitch in the phone system allowed the calls to go through early Tuesday, telling voters the election was "tomorrow."

"We stopped it immediately when we found out about it," Pinellas County elections supervisor spokeswoman Nancy Whitlock told the newspaper.

A similar glitch was reported in the US capital city Washington.

The Arizona Republic reported that robo-calls directed voters to the wrong polling stations, and that Democrats claimed it was an intentional effort by Republicans to misdirect people amid a tight Senate race.

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User comments : 30

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Claudius
2.3 / 5 (15) Nov 06, 2012
It has been obvious for some time now that elections are being manipulated via hacked electronic voting machines, having our votes "counted" by a company in Spain manned by Goldman-Sachs employees, etc.

Until the voting system is fixed, so that you know your vote will be properly counted and represented in the final tally for the person you chose, it does no good at all to try to reform any other part of the current political/governmental/corporate system.
VendicarD
3.8 / 5 (14) Nov 06, 2012
Now that Americans are unable to add, subtract, multiply or divide, their nation is hostage to the companies producing the vote counting machines.

That is ok, because Corporations are people my friend.

VendicarD
3.3 / 5 (12) Nov 06, 2012
Vote Fraud, thy party is Republican...

http://www.youtub...Gd74DrBM
OckhamsRazor
5 / 5 (11) Nov 06, 2012
Time to go back to ticking a box on a piece of paper?
ScooterG
1.5 / 5 (22) Nov 06, 2012
Now that Americans are unable to add, subtract, multiply or divide, their nation is hostage to the companies producing the vote counting machines.

That is ok, because Corporations are people my friend.



Go f*ck yourself.

signed: All Americans
VendicarD
3.1 / 5 (11) Nov 06, 2012
ScooTard seems to be very upset at the fact that Obama is going to win the American Election.

Signed: All Rational people.
Argiod
2.7 / 5 (12) Nov 06, 2012
...and, of course, the Romney team will deny having anything to do with this... even though his son owns the voting machines...

No wonder Romney doesn't care he's been caught out lying his way through this election: the fix is in... many 'fixes' are in place...

I guess honesty, integrity, and ethics no longer play any part in our election process...
ScooterG
1.8 / 5 (19) Nov 06, 2012
ScooTard seems to be very upset at the fact that Obama is going to win the American Election.

Signed: All Rational people.


It's not about the elections, it's about you being an ass and insulting America/Americans every other time you open your sewer.
kochevnik
3.1 / 5 (11) Nov 06, 2012
Go f*ck yourself. signed: All Americans
No doubt your new state Puerto Rico will return you the favor, Scooby.
VendicarD
3.7 / 5 (9) Nov 06, 2012
The Democrats are generally ethical and moral.

The filth has been concentrated into the Republican Party.

"I guess honesty, integrity, and ethics no longer play any part in our election process..." - Argoid

Just watch how much the Republican Filth ramp up their level of public hate for their president.
FrankHerbert
3.8 / 5 (13) Nov 06, 2012
LOL this is the best election ever. 11pm and it's obvious Romney lost.

To all Conservatives: please line up so I may collect your tears.
VendicarD
4.1 / 5 (9) Nov 06, 2012
40% of Americans believe in ghosts. 50% think that the sun rotates around the earth once a day.

"it's about you being an ass and insulting America/Americans every other time you open your sewer." - SkooTard

It is hard to imagine a dumber group than Republicans.
VendicarD
3.5 / 5 (11) Nov 06, 2012
Republicans all over America are soiling their underpants in protest over the re-election of Obama.

Squeeze out that hate ConservaTards. Squeeze as if your life depends on it.
VendicarD
3.7 / 5 (10) Nov 06, 2012
So many Tea Tards are losing their seats.

Ahahahaha... Morons.
chromosome2
3.8 / 5 (10) Nov 07, 2012
Now, I voted for Obama (NE still went all red, aughghghg), but that machine the guy is using isn't driven by a touchscreen, it's driven by a trackball that he's not showing you, according to some comment I saw on /. by someone who says they voted using the same kind of device, so, I call bs on that.

I hope this election sends a clear message to the republicans that the tea party must be amputated and left to die.
Claudius
3.3 / 5 (10) Nov 07, 2012
40% of Americans believe in ghosts. 50% think that the sun rotates around the earth once a day.


Only 50%?
Going
5 / 5 (9) Nov 07, 2012
Polling is not a mechanical process that can be automated. Its a human process and needs a fully visible mechanism at all stages where a critical human eye can watch votes move from voter to count to result. Bring back paper.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (10) Nov 07, 2012
Its a human process and needs a fully visible mechanism at all stages where a critical human eye can watch votes move from voter to count to result. Bring back paper.

Agreed. The paper trail is important. Paper isn't proof against manipulation, but at the very least the amount of manipulation that goes on is somewhat limited. and in any case with paper you can at least go back and check. Electronic manipulation is next to impossible to verify - and impossible to undo/recount.
Claudius
4.2 / 5 (10) Nov 07, 2012
Paper is not all that is required. It is necessary to audit the count of the vote at every stage, there should be a chain of custody all the way to the final count so ballot boxes don't "go missing." Any citizen must be able to participate in the auditing of the count. Presently, citizens are not permitted into the places where votes are tallied.

And if it takes a lot of time to make this work, it is worth it.
VendicarD
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 07, 2012
Canada's elections are still done with paper. Election results are known in one evening.

Many people counting paper ballots. Party Scrutineers ensure that the counts are valid/reasonable.

No hassles, no fuss, no hanging chads.

But then Canadians know how to count. That isn't true for Republicans or TeaTards.
obama_socks
1.3 / 5 (12) Nov 07, 2012
Hand counting paper ballots often invites deliberate miscounting if one of more of those doing the counting are not impartial and decide to put ballots in the wrong pile. Impartial U.N. observers are the best people to scrutinize hand counting of ballots, unless they too, are dishonest Liberals/Socialists like VendicarD
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (7) Nov 08, 2012
Hand counting paper ballots often invites deliberate miscounting

So you get one helper that deliberately miscounts. How much damage can that do? A few hundred votes counted wrong? Not good -- but no real game changer. Votes are counted by more than one person. Even if all of them are working as a team the statistic glitch will show up if one ballot box in one precinct suddenly veers wildly off the mean.

But with electronic counting machines you can modify all the votes since all of them run on the same software - so the discrepancy won't show up at all.
Shinobiwan Kenobi
3.5 / 5 (8) Nov 08, 2012
It's not about the elections, it's about you being an ass and insulting America/Americans every other time you open your sewer.


It's insulting to Americans that you seem to think that you're a suitable representation to the world of the mindset of the electorate... seeing as how your golden-boy ended up giving a concession speech and the rest of the world praised us for re-electing Obama perhaps you should consider that your position may just fade into history along with the shrinking demographic of old angry white men that makes up 90% of the GOP.
ScooterG
1 / 5 (12) Nov 08, 2012
It's not about the elections, it's about you being an ass and insulting America/Americans every other time you open your sewer.


It's insulting to Americans that you seem to think that you're a suitable representation to the world of the mindset of the electorate... seeing as how your golden-boy ended up giving a concession speech and the rest of the world praised us for re-electing Obama perhaps you should consider that your position may just fade into history along with the shrinking demographic of old angry white men that makes up 90% of the GOP.


When did I imply (or state) Romney was my "golden-boy"?
VendicarD
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 08, 2012
"Hand counting paper ballots often invites deliberate miscounting if one of more of those doing the counting are not impartial and decide to put ballots in the wrong pile." - ObamaSox

People with low IQ's might find this a daunting problem, but the rest of us will simply employ several counters taken from the major parties as well as a final judge to rule over disputes in ballots.

This is the way it is done in all civilized nations.
VendicarD
5 / 5 (6) Nov 08, 2012
When you claimed that the Congenital Liar Ronmey was your preference and was going to win the election.

"When did I imply (or state) Romney was my "golden-boy"?" - ScooterG

It was fun to watch all those tea-tards get tossed out on their ignorant, racist, backsides.

I'm sure you agree.
Shinobiwan Kenobi
4.3 / 5 (6) Nov 08, 2012
When did I imply (or state) Romney was my "golden-boy"?


Upon review you've never specified your party affiliation, but from the selections below you don't leave a lot of room to shift about on the political spectrum.

"It's just another way that liberal leaches capitalize on other's hard work"

"Climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change climate change.

Gets old, doesn't it?"

"Racism in and of itself is not illegal in America.

If an American chooses to hate a particular race, that's their business - butt out"


Classy.
Skepticus
1.8 / 5 (5) Nov 10, 2012
I don't understand why all the troubles and fuss with electronic voting machines.
After all, we have been "voting" our money to everyone for decades, trusting and transferring our trillions everyday.
The malicious manipulations, or errors are so minimal that almost everyone except the most paranoid, cash-minded are using it.
If we can keep the integrity of electronic banking system more or less perfect, I don't see why electronic voting systems are such bastards to implement.
Is it that money is way more important than truth and honesty in an election, so that nobody is bothering to work at it?
Tangent2
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 11, 2012
An official told the paper a glitch in the phone system allowed the calls to go through early Tuesday, telling voters the election was "tomorrow."


It's funny how that same glitch keeps happening, even in Canada as well the same thing was happening. You would figure that at this point of technology, we would know how to program and set a clock correctly. Then again, we probably do, and that's not the problem.
VendicarD
5 / 5 (3) Nov 11, 2012
The problems seem mostly to be registration and calibration issues. Registration meaning alignment of the touch screens with the video.

Given that to ConservaTards, everything is a conspiracy against them these days, it takes little to get them frothing at the mouth about a calibration error being part of some illuminati plot to establish a Luciferian new world order.

"My pencil broke. It's part of a U.N. plot to overthrow the world."

Having said that, there are real concerns with voting machine security. As others have mentioned, it is vastly easier to change a million votes from a vote machine than change a million paper ballots.

Voting software and hardware, like the voting process itself must be open to scrutiny and historical review if it, and any election it decides, is to be trusted.