A recount of the Justice of the Peace Precinct 1 Republican Primary race between Debra Ann Herrera and Michael Pascarella revealed 73 votes had not been counted during the March Primary election. In that race Herrera had received 141 votes and Pascarella had received 144. The three-vote difference prompted Herrera to ask for a re-count. After the recount, Herrera picked up 33 votes and Pascarella received 40 more votes. The disparity alerted the officials and those sitting in that something was definitely off. It was discovered that a MBB drive from one of the electronic voting machines used in early voting had not been downloaded in the March 4 tallying of votes.
After it was revealed Monday that more than 500 unaccounted-for Atascosa County primary votes were discovered on an unscanned machine, elections officials there spent Tuesday morning recounting the votes. Atascosa County Elections Administrator Janice Ruple said for whatever reason, someone failed to scan one machine to do the count. (See earlier story.)
The Cherokee Nation Election Commission recently announced it has purchased its own automated election system, which will allow the tribe to run its own elections in 2015. In the past, the Cherokee Nation has contracted with various vendors, including Unicyn and Automated Election Services. According to Cherokee Nation Election Commission Director Connie Parnell, by owning its own equipment, computers and software, the tribe will save hundreds of thousands of dollars and improve election security. “Frankly, it’s more cost-effective,” said Parnell. “The last election in October 2013 cost almost $300,000. Each big election was costing that much, without adding in the cost of runoffs and special elections.”
Virginia: Alexandria to Hand Count All Paper Ballots in Recount For Attorney General | Connection Newspapers
Alexandria election officials will be going back to the future in the next few weeks, pouring over thousands of paper ballots by hand as part of a recount effort in the hotly contested race for attorney general. Although other jurisdictions with paper ballots will be reprogramming their scanners for the recount, election officials say the Hart InterCivic machines currently in use in Alexandria and Charlottesville have some key limitations that prevent them from being reprogrammed. “It’s not like that would happen in a split second by feeding them through the machine,” said Deputy Registrar Anna Lieder. “So we are prepared to do a hand count if that’s what’s required.” Election officials say the Hart InterCivic machines have two problems that would lead to a hand recount of all paper ballots. One is that the scanners must be able to conduct a recount for the race in question without also doing a recount for all the other races on the ballot, one of the limitations of the brand purchased by city officials. Another problem is that the scanners must be able to separate ballots where the voter has written in a name and under vote ballots, where no vote was registered for the attorney general race. Election officials say the stack of undervote ballots are likely to include a number of ballots where a voter may have written the name of a candidate or marked it in a way that was not picked up by the electronic scanner. “All these scanning devices have benefits and drawbacks,” said Lieder. “These are much more precise and easier to mark in the initial voting process.”
More than one-half million Hawaii ballots were printed with the presidential candidates in no particular order, despite a state law that says all candidates must be in alphabetical order within their respective races. The state Office of Elections has downplayed the error, and officials contacted this week also don’t see it as a problem, especially for the Barack Obama-Mitt Romney race. But Hawaii County Clerk Jamae Kawauchi is seeking a legal opinion after her office was contacted by voters. With Hawaii-born Obama on the ticket of an overwhelmingly blue state, there’s little chance the candidate will be missed, even if he’s at the very bottom of the line-up behind the GOP candidate Romney, at the top, followed by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and Libertarian Gary Johnson, they say. Obama received 71.5 percent of the Hawaii vote in 2008.
National: Romney Family Investment Ties To Voting Machine Company That Could Decide The Election Causing Concern | Forbes
It’s 3:00 a.m. on November 7, 2012. With the painfully close presidential election now down to who wins the battleground state of Ohio, no network dares to call the race and risk repeating the mistakes of 2000 when a few networks jumped the gun on picking a winner. As the magic boards used by the networks go ‘up close and personal’ on every county in the Buckeye State, word begins to circulate that there might be a snafu with some electronic voting machines in a number of Cincinnati based precincts. There have already been complaints that broken machines were not being quickly replaced in precincts that tend to lean Democratic and now, word is coming in that there may be some software issues. The network political departments get busy and, in short order, discover that the machines used in Hamilton County, Ohio—the county home of Cincinnati— are supplied by Hart Intercivic, a national provider of voting systems in use in a wide variety of counties scattered throughout the states of Texas, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Colorado and Ohio. A quick Internet search reveals that there may be reason for concern.
The Oklahoma State Election Board demonstrates how a new voting machine can help visually impaired voters cast their ballot on Election Day. “It is an interface that allows voters with disabilities to vote without assistance while the regular voting is still going on,” said Pam Slater with the Oklahoma State Election Board. The new voting machine uses an audio-tactile interface (ATI) which allows blind voters to listen and scroll through an audio version of the general election ballot to make their choices. “It is very easy to feel around and feel exactly what you need,” said Cathy Tuton who is visually impaired. “It tells you everything you need to know.”
Boulder County Clerk Hillary Hall says a new system for numbering ballots would preserve voter anonymity as well as efficiency in tallying election results, and she expects it to pass muster with the Secretary of State’s Office. However, election integrity activists say any “distinguishing marks” on ballots violate the law and open the door to linking individual voters with their ballots. The group Citizen Center has filed a request for a restraining order in federal court to stop the printing of Boulder County’s ballots with distinguishing serial numbers. A hearing on the request is scheduled for Sept. 21. Like other counties who use the Hart Voting System, Boulder County’s ballots have three sets of numbers and bar codes — one that identifies the election, one that identifies the precinct and ballot content (which jurisdictions and ballot questions the voter is voting on) and one that identifies the ballot.
After a glitch in reporting the June 26 primary election results, the Oklahoma State Election Board has decided to no longer use a subcontractor to report election results on its website, board Secretary Paul Ziriax said Tuesday. The June 26 primary election results initially were incorrectly reported on the agency’s website, causing about a two-hour delay in getting the right numbers posted. The software initially was indicating that some precincts had fully reported, when in fact they had not been fully reported, Ziriax said. He called the errors an “isolated vendor software glitch at the website.” The actual vote totals reported were correct, Ziriax said. “I am 100 percent confident the tabulation occurred correctly,” he said.
Precinct workers in Tulsa County mistakenly allowed two people to each vote twice, resulting in the contested and missing ballots in the House District 71 race, a state Election Board investigation found. The investigation results were presented to the state Election Board Tuesday night at the state Capitol. Democrat Dan Arthrell defeated Republican Katie Henke by a single vote. However, the election results already have been nullified by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and the candidate to hold the state House Seat representing Tulsa will be determined in the November elections. “We certainly don’t want to see things like this happen,” Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said. “But we’ve certainly learned a lot.”
When Alexandria voters turn up at the polls Tuesday, many are going to confront old-school technology — paper ballots. Thanks to activists who objected to electronic voting machines because they did not provide a paper trail and because they feared hacking, the Virginia General Assembly in 2007 banned local governments from buying touch-screen machines when it came time to replace existing electronic systems. Now that time has come. Voters will be using a new eScan system, which requires voters to mark their paper ballots with blue or black ink in the polling booth and then line up to scan the ballots themselves into a machine. The votes will be recorded electronically.
Oklahoma: Mock elections prepare voters for new machines, laws – counties test-run in anticipation of big election year | electionlineWeekly
While voters in New Hampshire went to the polls for real this week, hundreds of voters throughout the state of Oklahoma headed to the polls to test-drive the state’s new voting machines. The mock election, occurring in all of the state’s 77 counties this week, was designed to not only acclimate voters with the state’s new voting machines, but to also provide additional training to elections workers and to find any kinks in the process before the state’s March primary.
Oklahoma: New voting machines are coming, but Oklahoma voters may not notice a difference | Tulsa World
Oklahoma voters will have to learn how to fill in boxes instead of connect lines for the 2012 elections. Otherwise, said state Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax, most won’t notice much difference from other elections over the past two decades.
There will be a difference, though, and a big one. The state will soon begin taking delivery on a new voting system to replace the OPTECH-III Eagle optical scanner machines in use since 1992. Ziriax expects the system to be fully tested and installed in time for the February 2012 school board elections.
“It’s my belief that most people won’t notice a difference,” said Ziriax. “Voters will still be marking their ballots by hand and they’ll still be putting them into a scanner. “The main difference will be that instead of connecting two ends of an arrow, there will be a box to fill in. And the ballots will be a little lighter weight stock.”