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BBV Election Watch links November 04, 2008 8:19 AM

Several updates so far from Florida can be found at this link:

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TX, CT, NY, FL, MI November 04, 2008 12:11 PM

Texas: Harris County - Wife still registered, husband and son dropped from voter rolls, made to use provisional ballot. Recommendation: Did you move to a different address in Katy? That might shed light on whether it is a legal purge. ANYONE GIVEN PROVISIONAL BALLOT: Bring every kind of ID you can think of when you vote, whether required or not. Stand there and watch to make sure poll worker fills out every item accurately and completely on the outer envelope, or even qualified voters may have vote disqualified. And yes, this is a crock or a crooked way to run elections. More:

Michigan: Muskegon - Machine reading "overvote" error repeatedly, poll worker overriding message. The ES&S M100 scanners are beeping on many ballots, but not all, and an error reads on the screen indicating an overvote (which can invalidate the vote). The M100s have been having a variety of problems nationwide. Recommendations: Request a statement in writing from the main elections office (not the temporary poll worker, ask the Town Clerk or county elections administrator). If you see repeated instances of this error, ask them to put in writing what they claim the reason to be. Also ask poll workers to write it down on the problem log to make sure it gets documented into the public record. More:

Connecticut: Hartford - A box of voter registration forms not entered yet, Election Day. Voter told not on list. They found her registration in an unopened box of new voter registrations. Recommendations: We suspect there are many locations that have unentered boxes stashed here and there. This has been documented before in at least three states. Be assertive, and if you are given a provisional ballot, BE SURE POLLWORKER FILLS OUT ALL INFORMATION on outer envelope. Even if your registration is deemed valid, if pollworker does not complete info on envelope it is likely to be disqualified. More:

Texas: Jim Wells County - Voting machine not working in Alice, TX; Ballots being set aside into emergency bin. Recommended action: Report also to 866-OURVOTE and please go there at poll closing to videotape what happens to the votes that they set aside. Some Texas locations are obstructive; if not permitted to videotape AFTER poll closing, report that and see if you can get still photos and write a report of what you observe them doing with the set-aside ballots. More details:

New York: Brooklyn - Lever machine behaving oddly, lever bouncing back to vote position before voting process terminated. Recommendation: Report to the numbers given. Try to obtain credentials to observe and videotape poll closing. Need to contact a political party to do this, minor parties like Working Families Party, Greens, Libertarians may have more availability for observer credentials. Videotape what happens with this lever machine at the tally phase. More details:

Florida: Palm Beach County - Scanner not working at polling place, poll workers are putting ballots in a box to deal with later. Recommended action: Return to polling place at poll closing and video what's done with ballots in that box, and video the polling place results tape. Also report to 1-866-OURVOTE and 1-877-GOCNN08. Details:

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Party Affiliation on voting packet- Lake Co OHIO November 04, 2008 3:04 PM

Posted by Bonny L Hawker on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 - 2:55 pm [PST]:

I had the option to vote paper or machine. I chose paper. I had to sign my name, date, and party affiliation on the front of my packet before I placed it in the ballot box. To my knowledge, it was not a provisional ballot (although it did also want driver's license # and/or last 4 of soc.
I have never had the opportunity to vote a paper ballot...Is listing one's party affiliation practice?

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Update (MA and CO) November 04, 2008 3:39 PM

Colorado: More of the same pattern - voter forced to vote provisional because someone pretending to be them already voted. Similar situations have been reported now in several states; in Collin County Texas, a voter was able to prove that indeed a fraudulent ballot WAS cast in his name. Thousands of unsolicited absentee ballot applications were received nationwide about a month ago, often with return addresses that were to the wrong address.

Massachusetts: Cambridge - 6,400 names left off voter list, forcing voters to provisional ballots. Other option: Come back later. City of Cambridge says it gave wrong list.

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(FL) 11/08 - State: Voting machine meltdowns beginning to surface November 06, 2008 3:20 PM

Manatee County's voting machines flat-out refused to count over 50,000 votes. After working all night with technicians they 'solved' the problem by using a manual entry feature in the tabulator to insert votes by hand. Hillsborough County had a meltdown they say was caused by gumming up the system with early votes and polling place votes, causing the tabulator to have a meltdown. Statistical anomalies are being reported, and I'll review those before posting.

Here are some of the incoming news links showing significant issues with the voting machines:

Hillsborough County: Voting meltdown flows from errors -

Manatee County: Problem 'solved' by hand entering vote totals

Remember that most voting machine problems surface during the 30 days following Election Day, as results are tabulated and canvassed.

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(KS) 11/08 - Crawford: Optical scan flipped votes on 3 candidates November 07, 2008 7:23 PM

SUMMARY: This was not a touch-screen, and a race hangs in limbo because of this, and why didn't testing catch this? Three candidates had their votes mis-assigned to others in the same race due to an incorrectly programmed memory card for the ES&S M100 scanner. The county programmed the memory card and, according to their diagnosis, the card failed to ID the ballots styles for the ballot rotation of the candidates.

These links provide details for the unfolding story: - County sees voting machine error - Machine errors affect Crawford results - Machine error could affect Crawford attorney race - Errors come from voting machine programming

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(AR) 11/08 - Benton: 144 percent turnout, it was overwhelming, they say November 07, 2008 7:40 PM

SUMMARY: "High voter turnout strained local election system." I'll say. Apparently 155 voters put such a strain on the system that the ES&S voting machines reported 223 votes. Needless to say, there can be no basis for confidence in such election results. The article blames it in iVotronic touch-screens, but it looks to me like this was the ES&S central count M650 machines. The reporter headlines this, and another precinct with more votes than voters, as "Minor glitches."

See the full article: [Also available here

BBV Archive copy:

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(OH) 11/08 - Franklin: Over 115% turnout in two precincts, 106% in another November 09, 2008 12:39 PM

On the same system used in Arkansas for its 105% turnout -- the average was about 65% -- Franklin County Ohio has promised to fix the problem. This follows another problem where Franklin County's inappropriate voter database flags might have pushed 35,000 voters onto provisional ballot status.

More details: - Some votes counted twice - Inappropriate flags in database might have affected 35,000 Franklin County voters

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Presidential win margin obscures voting problems, which must be addressed November 11, 2008 3:12 PM

The problems with the nation's voting system exposed this year are tenacious, and officials can no longer afford to ignore them. The massive turnout overran problems which could easily have affected the presidential outcome; in many other races, candidates weren't so luck. But we need to be careful in crafting a thoughtful answer to what we really want.

Hopefully, the process of selecting which actions to focus on will be more inclusive than they have been in the past, to get actions that really restore right to public controls and freedom of information, as well as improve compliance measures with existing safeguards and right to know.

Here is one article that nudges us toward action; hopefully, more thoughtful action focusing on rights, not just mechanics:

Election Reform Can't Wait

The obvious problems with voter registration this year, which led to lawsuits claiming both voter fraud and voter suppression, have thrust that issue front and center. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., is already working on legislation that would overhaul the voter registration rules. Voter protection advocates are pushing hard for so-called universal voter registration, which would automatically place eligible voters on the rolls based on government databases such as driver's license and Social Security records...

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