human error

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Michigan: Detroit clerk addresses troubled election; state audit shows no proof of voter fraud | Michigan Radio

Detroit city clerk Janice Winfrey has broken her public silence about irregularities in the city’s November’s election results. Michigan’s presidential recount was halted mid-process. But the partial recount revealed that more than half of Detroit precincts were legally ineligible to be recounted, because reported vote counts didn’t match the actual number of ballots. That prompted the state to launch an audit, which is still wrapping up. Winfrey has said very little during that time. But state elections officials have now said there is no evidence of fraud, a finding Winfrey reiterated that at a press conference Friday. Instead, she said it mostly revealed a lot of “human error” at the “precinct level.”

Full Article: Detroit clerk addresses troubled election; state audit shows no proof of voter fraud | Michigan Radio.

Texas: Report on Hill County Election Irregularities Released | Texas Scorecard

Election Systems & Software (ES&S) has released a report on its findings related to errors in the Hill County Republican Primary. The report comes amidst an ongoing investigation by Attorney General Ken Paxton into irregularities with the vote totals reported in the election. Last month, Direct Action Texas discovered that the number of reported votes in the Hill County Republican Primary exceeded by more than 1700 the number of voters the county reported had shown up at the polls. ES&S, which supplies electronic voting machines and other election services to Hill County, was asked by the county to investigate the error. ES&S found that early voting ballot cast totals were incorrect by the same amount as the number of absentee ballots cast, and Election Day ballot cast totals were incorrect by the same number of paper ballots that were voted during early voting.

Full Article: Report on Hill County Election Released | Empower Texans℠.

Ohio: On the front lines of an awful election | Cincinnati Enquirer

The election went very badly. As a poll worker, I know that better than anybody. Really. It was awful. Because of this, they decided to keep the polls open late (“Problems, delays keep the polls open” Nov. 4). That was not a good idea. It fixed nothing. Many of the problems were blamed on the new technology. But that wasn’t the real issue, per se. I hear some locations gave up on the new machines and reverted to paper because they couldn’t get the printers hooked up. But that’s human error and inadequate training. The training was, indeed, inadequate. Only about half the poll workers – the precinct managers and deputies – were trained on the complete setup. It was assumed the regular precinct officials wouldn’t need to know.

Indiana: State election report blames humans, not computers for Porter County snafus | Chesterton Tribune

The Indiana Secretary of State’s Office on Friday said Porter County’s new electronic poll books are not to blame for the technical problems reported in this past May’s municipal primary elections. Instead, a report conducted by the Voting System Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP) attributes the snafus to poll workers, poor internet connection at polling locations, ballot counting machine failures, router failures, “confusing” voter tally sheets and “inadequate” poll worker training. A summary of the report was released Friday along with a statement issued from Secretary of State Connie Lawson. VSTOP is tasked with documenting issues with equipment sold to counties by vendors and making recommendations relevant for the functioning of that equipment.

Full Article: State election report blames humans, not computers for Porter County snafus.

Editorials: Florida elections imperiled by human error | Daily Commercial

With the 2016 presidential election on the horizon and the ghosts of elections past still haunting it, you would think Florida would have an acute sense for ensuring its voting processes are working smoothly and efficiently. A recent report, though, indicates the state still is operating like a ‘74 Gremlin. The state auditor general, an independent officer hired by the Legislature, recently identified seven weaknesses with Florida’s voter registration system, a computerized database of voter information.

Full Article: Florida elections imperiled by human error - Daily Commercial: Opinion.

Maine: Democrat wins Senate election after investigation reveals ‘phantom ballots’ for GOP opponent did not exist | Bangor Daily News

After mystery swirled around a contested southern Maine Senate district election for weeks, Catherine Breen — who saw Election Day victory slip from her grasp after an initial recount — is headed to the Senate after all. Breen, a Falmouth Democrat, was declared the victor on election night by a narrow margin over her Republican opponent, Cathleen Manchester of Gray. Manchester asked for a recount, which was conducted on Nov. 18, and the candidates saw their fortunes reversed, with Manchester squeaking out an even tighter win. Last week, Manchester was provisionally seated in the Legislature’s upper chamber, and Republican lawmakers had already taken to referring to her as “senator.” Democrats raised questions about 21 ballots from Long Island seemingly discovered during the recount, all of which contained votes for Manchester. Those ballots could not be accounted for at any step of the chain of custody for cast ballots, and state and local election officials disagreed about the total number of votes that should have been tallied from Long Island.

Full Article: Democrat wins Senate election after investigation reveals ‘phantom ballots’ for GOP opponent did not exist — Politics — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine.

Maine: GOP Sen. Manchester resigns after investigation shows 21 ballots were counted twice | Bangor Daily News

In a dramatic turn of events, an inspection of ballots from Long Island on Tuesday showed that 21 votes for Republican Cathy Manchester appear to have been counted twice during a Nov. 18 recount in Senate District 25. That was enough to deprive Manchester of the victory she appeared to gain from the recount and send Democrat Cathy Breen to the Senate as the Yarmouth-area district’s senator for the next two years. “I have full confidence that no one did anything wrong, that we have human error at the recount. I believe the people of District 25 have spoken, and they have spoken to vote Catherine Breen as their state senator,” Manchester said after a special Senate committee conducted an investigation into the Long Island ballots on Tuesday.

Full Article: GOP Sen. Manchester resigns after investigation shows 21 ballots were counted twice | Sun Journal.

North Carolina: Voting machine problems do not change election outcome | WRAL

Supreme Court Associate Justice Cheri Beasley won her re-election campaign against Forsyth County lawyer Mike Robinson despite vote tabulation errors discovered in several counties throughout the state. Beasley won by more than 5,000 votes in a race where more than 2.4 million votes were cast. Recount results, which the State Board of Elections certified during a teleconference meeting Tuesday, showed Robinson picked up a net of 17 votes across the state. Robinson has told State Board of Elections officials that he has conceded and will not seek a further recount. While the overall vote swing was not enough to make a meaningful dent in the election total, changes in Davidson, Lenoir and Wilson counties, all of which use touch-screen voting equipment, involved eye-catching totals of several hundred votes each. In Davidson County, Beasley picked up 520 votes and Robinson gained 884 votes since the time county elections officials originally canvassed votes. The problem, elections officials there say, was a faulty media card used to store and transfer votes from a touch-screen machine.  “It did not affect any of the outcomes of local races at all,” said Donna Zappala, who handles information technology issues for the Davidson County Board of Elections. The county was able to recover the votes from a backup system, she said.  

Full Article: Voting machine problems do not change election outcome :: WRAL.com.

North Carolina: Voting machine problems do not change election outcome | WRAL

Supreme Court Associate Justice Cheri Beasley won her re-election campaign against Forsyth County lawyer Mike Robinson despite vote tabulation errors discovered in several counties throughout the state. Beasley won by more than 5,000 votes in a race where more than 2.4 million votes were cast. Recount results, which the State Board of Elections certified during a teleconference meeting Tuesday, showed Robinson picked up a net of 17 votes across the state. Robinson has told State Board of Elections officials that he has conceded and will not seek a further recount. While the overall vote swing was not enough to make a meaningful dent in the election total, changes in Davidson, Lenoir and Wilson counties, all of which use touch-screen voting equipment, involved eye-catching totals of several hundred votes each. In Davidson County, Beasley picked up 520 votes and Robinson gained 884 votes since the time county elections officials originally canvassed votes. The problem, elections officials there say, was a faulty media card used to store and transfer votes from a touch-screen machine. 

Full Article: Voting machine problems do not change election outcome :: WRAL.com.

South Dakota: Human error, not new high-tech ballot machines, to blame for Pennington’s late election results | Rapid City Journal

The Pennington County Auditor’s Office used a $232,000 federal grant on two new high-tech ballot-counting machines this year to increase the speed and accuracy of its elections. So, how did it work? As with any new technology, there was a learning curve and bugs in the system that led to a long night for Auditor Julie Pearson and her staff, forced a tedious process of recounting or re-creating thousands of ballots on the fly and produced election results two hours later than usual. And yet, the problems ultimately had nothing to do with the new Election Systems & Software DS850 ballot machines, but rather were due to human error and inexperience with the technology, Pearson said on Friday. “The technology did exactly what it was supposed to do,” Pearson said. “We just had to change our processes.”

Full Article: Human error, not new high-tech ballot machines, to blame for Pennington's late election results.

Arizona: Glitch in Cochise County puts thousands of ballots on hold | KGUN

A major glitch in Cochise County held up thousands of ballots. The problem discovered hours after the polls closed last night. Cochise county elections officials had to scramble to fix it and asked Graham County to help out. A UHAUL full of black cases of ballots were rushed to Graham County where the ballots were re-tabulated — overnight and then transported back to Bisbee by 1 o’clock the next day. So what caused the glitch? The interim elections director Jim Vlahovich thought it was the machine that tabulates the votes. “We discovered last night that the sheets were 85 ballots short than what the machine was,” he said.

Full Article: Glitch in Cochise County puts thousands of ballots on hold - KGUN9.

Arizona: Election mistake traced to ‘human error’ | San Pedro Valley News-Sun

A report from the vendor of the elections system used by Cochise County during the Aug. 26 Primary Election indicates that the issues surrounding incorrect ballot data being sent to the state on election night was the result of a procedural error at the local elections office. The report from Elections Systems & Software explains that the incoming results from a number of precincts throughout election night were aggregated incorrectly by the county elections staff selecting the wrong option on the system. This resulted in already tabulated election results being added multiple times to the aggregate total for those precincts. County officials received the report on Thursday, Sept. 4. Elections staff reviewed the report individually before holding a meeting by telephone with ES&S personnel on Monday, Sept. 8.

Full Article: Election mistake traced to ‘human error’ - San Pedro Valley News-Sun: News.

South Carolina: Richland election better but more improvements needed, director says | The State

Two years after a disastrous election process left people waiting hours in line to cast ballots, Richland County kept long waits at a minimum during Tuesday’s primary and reduced the frustrations so many voters expressed during the 2012 general election. But far fewer people voted in the primary election, and county voting director Samuel Selph acknowledged that Richland has “some more work to do” before the upcoming general election in November. The county needs to ramp up training for poll workers, who had difficulties Tuesday operating equipment that is vital to the election process, he said. He said human error, as opposed to malfunctioning equipment, led to the majority of problems.

Full Article: Richland election better but more improvements needed, director says | Local News | The State.

West Virginia: Clerical Error Leaves Unopposed Candidate Off Ballot and Puts Another Person Who Was Not Running On | Associated Press

With no opposition for his city council seat in a small town on West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle, Curtis Mele figured his ticket to a third consecutive term was secure. Instead, a clerical error left his name off the ballot, and another councilman was listed as the candidate in his district in Benwood. Now, officials in the town of 1,600 are scrambling for a solution, and Mele has hired an attorney to contest the election. “It might be an honest mistake,” Mele said Thursday. “But that’s a mistake that should never happen.” Mele, whose name didn’t appear anywhere on the May 13 ballot, was one of four unopposed council members. The responsibility for Benwood’s ballot information falls on the office of City Clerk Judy Hunt. “She dropped the ball, which is now costing me,” Mele said.

Full Article: Unopposed West Virginia city councilman mistakenly left off ballot, plans to contest election | Fox News.

Tennessee: MicroVote executive assumes blame for election gaffe | Johnson City Press

The person responsible for a human foible that turned the 6th Commission District results upside down during Tuesday’s Republican primary has claimed full responsibility and absolved the Washington County Election Commission from any wrongdoing. Indianapolis-based MicroVote General Corp. President Jim Ries confirmed in a news release Thursday that an employee error resulted in an inaccurate vote total posted on the Washington County Election Commission website. “Official voting tallies were unaffected by this website posting error, which was unrelated to the official counting of ballots,” Ries said. “We have identified the reason that the website posting error occurred and are putting into place steps to insure that such an error does not occur in the future.” The person directly responsible for the gaffe is Bill Whitehead, MicroVote’s Tennessee project manager. Whitehead emailed Washington County Administrator of Elections Maybell Stewart on Wednesday night to say an exact explanation of what happened was forthcoming. “Not to imply that your local media would misinterpret any information, but we are always cautiously guarded about what the press will receive, as in many cases they are spin doctors and we want to protect you and everyone involved in this process from a misinterpretation,” Whitehead told Stewart.

Full Article: MicroVote exec assumes blame for election gaffe | Johnson City Press.

Arkansas: No Small Stuff (cont.): Ballot Error Costs Pulaski $12,800 | Election Academy

The latest example of “there is no small stuff” in elections comes to us from Pulaski County (Little Rock) Arkansas – where a small but crucial error in preparing ballots for an upcoming millage election ended up costing the county thousands of dollars when they had to be reprinted. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has more:

One number put in the wrong place resulted in a decision Saturday to reprint more than 53,600 ballots before the March 11 Pulaski County special millage election. The Pulaski County Election Commission — which now holds meetings during each poll-worker training session — voted unanimously Saturday to reprint the ballots after realizing the misprinted forms could not be counted by the voting machines at the precincts. 

Full Article: No Small Stuff (cont.): Ballot Error Costs Pulaski $12,800 - Election Academy.

Australia: Senate recount ordered in Western Australia | The Australian

The Australian Electoral Commission has ordered a recount in the desperately tight Senate race in Western Australia. The recount of more than a million votes follows an appeal by Greens senator Scott Ludlam, who lost his Senate seat in the initial count, and the Australian Sports Party’s Wayne Dropulich. An earlier request for a partial recount was refused. WA Electoral Commissioner Ed Killesteyn said he had now decided to agree to a recount of WA Senate ballot papers where electors had marked their ballots above the line. This would involve over 96 per cent of votes, or approximately 1.25 million of the 1.3 million formal votes. The recount will also re-examine informal votes. Mr Killesteyn said the closeness of the count was not in itself the basis for a recount.

Full Article: Senate recount ordered in Western Australia | The Australian.

North Dakota: State adjusts November vote counts | INFORUM

More than six months after North Dakotans voted in the November general election, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp lost 174 votes and Gov. Jack Dalrymple gained one. Vote tallies for all statewide races and local races in Walsh County were changed by the State Canvassing Board on Thursday after the federal court system realized in mid-February that Walsh County had 300 more votes cast than the number of voters. Secretary of State Al Jaeger said human error happens, and he thinks the canvassing board has never met this long after an election before.

Full Article: State of North Dakota adjusts November vote counts | INFORUM | Fargo, ND.

California: Misplaced ballots were likely due to human error, elections official says | San Francisco Examiner

An ongoing investigation into 65 ballots that were not found or counted for months after the November election points to human error as the cause, Chief Elections Officer Mark Church has indicated. On April 12, San Mateo County election officials discovered a vault containing uncounted provisional ballots and announced the discovery the next week. Of the 65 ballot envelopes, only 35 were eligible votes, and they did not affect the election results. The investigation launched by Church uncovered that employees placed the ballots inside a covered container within the security vault. As a result, Church said in a statement, the election staff did not see the ballots, which should have been sent to the main elections office for processing, Church said. Although the uncounted votes did not alter the results, they remain a source of concern, according to officials and election observers.

Full Article: Misplaced ballots were likely due to human error, elections official says | Anonymous | Peninsula | San Francisco Examiner.

Tennessee: Sevier County’s voting machines to stay in place for liquor measure | Knoxville News Sentinel

Same issue. Same voting machines. For the second time, the Sevier County Election Commission has effectively decided to retain the current voting machines for a March 14 re-vote on the question of offering liquor by the drink in Pigeon Forge. Commissioner John Huff said Thursday he favors keeping the machines for two reasons. “The people who vote are already familiar with them, and our poll workers are familiar with them,” he said. The March 14 vote was set after a judge voided a Nov. 6 due to ballot errors. Huff said those errors were because of human error, not because of a problem with the machines.

Full Article: Sevier County's voting machines to stay in place for liquor measure » Knoxville News Sentinel.