While the Election Commission of India (ECI), State Election Commission (SEC) and Maharashtra’s civic bodies continue to make excuses with regard to the large scale chaos and lakhs of names missing from voters’ list, it appears that a software malfunction may have caused the fiasco. The SEC used the software (developed by Mahaonline) for the first time to divide the list of 92 lakh voters according to wards and booths. The original voters’ list is prepared by the ECI and is based on Assembly constituencies. For the civic elections held this year, about 227 wards and over 7,000 polling booths were set up in Mumbai. While the move aimed to curb errors in the process, it proved to complicate the process. Sources claim that the software glitch led to a faulty separation of voters’ names according to wards and booths. The software was used by 10 civic corporations under the guidance of the SEC.
Arizona: Glitch delays mailing guides to 400,000 voters ahead of special election | Associated Press
Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan’s office failed to send out publicity pamphlets for next week’s special election to more than 200,000 households with multiple voters in all but Pima and Maricopa counties, her spokesman said Monday. The error has prompted a Chandler attorney to prepare a request to the attorney general to postpone the May 17 election. Voters are being asked in Proposition 123 to boost withdraws from the state land trust to fund education and in Proposition 124 to overhaul the state police and firefighter pension system. Reagan spokesman Matt Roberts said the pamphlets should have reached voters 10 days before early voting started on April 20 and blamed a private vendor for the problem. By the time the mistake was discovered and new voter guides mailed and received, it was May 6.
Indiana: Software glitch leaves 2,012 votes incomplete in Hancock County primary | Indiana Economic Digest – Indiana
Catastrophic. Marcia Moore summed up Tuesday’s election in one word. Sitting in the basement of the Hancock County Courthouse Annex on election night, the county clerk shook her head in disgust. Software glitches. Equipment failures. More than 2,000 ballots with errors. Sixteen local contests were left in limbo Tuesday night after election workers learned late in the day that a software error caused entire races to be left off voters’ ballots at five of the county’s 12 polling sites, Moore said. And there’s no way to identify or alert the 2,012 voters who didn’t have a say in those races — a fact Hancock County attorney Ray Richardson said will likely trigger a special election to start the process over. … The software error was one of a number of problems that plagued the local election, Moore said.
As Superintendent of Public Instruction candidate Sandy Welch prepares for her Kalispell District Court hearing tomorrow, a letter from the Lewis and Clark County Elections Supervisor confirms a software error in their ballot counting machines. Welch’s application emphasized six specific counts where adequate probable cause is presented to the court on ballot counting errors that may have falsely affected the superintendent race. Two of the six counts noted specific errors in the use of model 650 ballot counting machines.
Al Paglia yearned to hear that he had won the Wellington, Florida city council election. “It was ecstasy I had 50 people at my house at 11:00 at night it finally came across the TV screen.” Paglia recalled. “On the election website Al Paglia upsets incumbent – it was wonderful.” The supposed win took place earlier this year in March. Even in the world of politics – his honeymoon was shorter than anyone could have imagined. Just days after being declared the victor in a city councilman race, he got a call saying he was indeed… a loser. It was Palm Beach Supervisor of Elections, Susan Bucher, and her team who discovered the mistake. In two races, winners including Paglia were announced and certified… when they were actually the losers. Bucher said Palm Beach’s optical scan election system had – unbeknownst to anyone-mixed up the race results. As a result, the wrong winners and losers were called. When asked by CBS4 Investigative reporter, Michele Gillen, what is was like to declare the wrong winners? Bucher said, “It humiliating. It was awful. It was never our intent.” Bucher is one of several election supervisors we’ve met, who are taking aim at Florida’s audit process — the review of the paper ballots– only a sampling is done, and only after elections are certified.
National: Smartmatic Sues Dominion Voting Systems for Licensing Breach and Improper Business Practices | Rock Hill Herald
Smartmatic International, a global technology company that develops advanced voting systems to support elections worldwide, has filed suit in the Delaware Court of Chancery against Dominion Voting Systems for that company’s alleged breach of a licensing agreement and tortious interference with Smartmatic’s business. The lawsuit is seeking compensation from Dominion for allegedly withholding technology and services that had been licensed to Smartmatic, and for Dominion’s intentional actions to denigrate Smartmatic’s brand and undermine its relationship with customers and prospects. “This lawsuit is necessary because of Dominion’s persistent refusal to deliver technology that Smartmatic legally licensed,” said David Melville, General Counsel of Smartmatic. “We intend to recover the costs of rectifying a basic Dominion software error that nearly affected the 2010 Philippine elections, which we went to great lengths and expense to correct in keeping with our commitment to maintain the highest standards of election integrity and transparency.”
Despite expressing confidence in the reliability of electronic poll books, the Davidson County Election Commission on Thursday stuck with its decision not to use the devices in the November election. The poll books, which recently replaced paper poll books in 60 of the county’s 160 voting precincts, have been at the center of criticism the past few weeks because some voters received the wrong ballots during the Aug. 2 primary. The commission had planned to use the new poll books in all 160 precincts for the Nov. 6 general election. Last week, four of the five commission members voted to revert to the paper poll books for all precincts. However, Commissioner Steve Abernathy wanted the commission to revisit the issue.
Palm Beach County commissioners on Tuesday agreed to upgrade vote-counting software, just over a month after a vote-counting mix-up in the Wellington city council election. The software improvements cost $117,450 in a deal with Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher had the deal in the works before the Election Night problems in Wellington. Bucher in March initially blamed software problems for her office naming the incorrect winners in two Wellington races. The software upgrades and other procedural changes are supposed to iron out any problems like those that occurred in Wellington and speed up Palm Beach County’s traditionally slow vote counting.
In ancient times, before 2000, Florida elections supervisors had profiles lower than mob guys in witness protection. Then came the butterfly ballot and Bush vs. Gore and the realization that not just anyone can run an election – or at least run an election well. Palm Beach County is on its third elections supervisor since then and next year may have a fourth. Meanwhile, the Legislature has made two major revisions in how the state conducts elections and another big change designed to make voter registration harder. Point being, the workings of elections never have been under more scrutiny. Sadly, 12 years after the biggest election fiasco in U.S. history, Palm Beach County remains unable to produce a string of trouble-free elections, no matter who is in charge. Theresa LePore’s 2000 ballot brought her a challenge from fellow Democrats in 2004. She lost to Arthur Anderson, a former school board chairman who had no experience with elections or technology. Mr. Anderson presided over a reign of error.
When the votes were counted in Tuesday’s election in St. Louis County, hundreds were missing. Poll workers did not properly close out several voting machines. NewsChannel5 learned there were 595 votes that weren’t counted Tuesday night when election board workers went home around midnight. Election officials say those votes are now in, and part of the current unofficial totals. Rita Heard Days is the county’s director of elections and says five electronic voting machines were not properly closed out by poll workers Tuesday night. “This morning we went out and got the machines that had the questionable closures and brought them in and captured those votes,” said Days. … Days says all the missed votes were added to the unofficial election totals Wednesday.
An optical scan vote tallying system, now used by some 300 U.S. municipalities, misreported the results of a Palm Beach County, Florida, municipal election last month. Dominion Voting Inc.’s Sequoia Voting Systems device mistakenly awarded two Wellington Village Council seats to candidates who were found in a post-election audit to have lost their races. The results were officially changed last weekend after a court-sanctioned public hand count of the votes. According to a story in the Palm Beach Sun Sentinel , the Sequoia vote counting software was set up in a way that didn’t correspond to the Wellington County ballot distributed to voters. As a result, votes meant for one candidate were credited to a different candidate. In a product advisory notice issued last Friday, Dominion warned customers that problems could arise if the contest order on a paper ballot does not match the ballot order programmed into Sequoia machine. “The contest order on the ballots in the database can become out of sync with the contest order shown on the corresponding paper ballots,” the company noted. If the issue is not identified during pre-election tests, “election results will show the correct number of votes, but assigns them to the wrong candidate” the company said in the advisory.
Florida: Tangled Web: Wellington, Florida Drama Highlights Complexity of Technology, Value of Audits | Election Academy
An extraordinary story is emerging from an election from the March 13 municipal election in Wellington located in Florida’s Palm Beach County. Election Night returns indicated that two hotly-contested council elections had been resolved in favor of two candidates, but then a routine post-election audit suggested that their opponents had actually won due to errors in tabulating the county’s optical scan ballots. Following a court-ordered manual recount, the revised totals were confirmed. As if that weren’t extraordinary enough, a battle is now underway between the county clerk and her vendor about who was responsible for the error. The clerk is blaming the vendor, saying that the error – which appears to have been caused by a “synchronization” problem between vote-counting and tabulation machines – is something she and her staff have never seen before and thus could never have been expected to catch, let alone fix.
Florida: Dominon Voting Systems now rebuts Bucher’s account of Wellington ballot snafu | Palm Beach Post
The maker of Palm Beach County’s voting machines has told state officials its software did not cause the glitch that led to incorrect results being certified in two Wellington races, according to a letter from the company – a statement that starkly contrasts with Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher’s explanation for what happened. A “shortcoming” in the county’s vote-counting software allowed the error to go undetected, and the software did nothing to stop it, Dominion Voting Systems acknowledged. But the manufacturer disavowed responsibility for the error itself, saying, “it is clear that the mismatch was not the result of a ‘bug.’ ” Bucher has said the opposite. After the error was revealed March 19, she said the company had taken the blame and released a sharply worded press release that started with: “Technology fails.”
In the end, there was no confusion. No name calling, no questionable motives. Instead there was order. Perfect order, and hugs. A hand count predicted to last six hours Saturday lasted exactly six hours, the same hand count that the county’s top election official guaranteed would match a second tally of votes for Wellington’s messy March 13 council election. The winners: Bob Margolis for mayor, John Greene for seat 1 and Matt Willhite for seat 4. It was a relief for everyone involved, including voters. “Now there’s no dispute,” said Wellington resident Frank Ventriglio. Ventriglio and his wife came to witness the hand count at Palm Beach County’s elections service center in Riviera Beach, on his 57th birthday, no less. “We wanted to see the democratic process at its best,” Theresa Ventriglio said.
Florida: Wellington election: Judge approves request for hand recount for disputed election | OrlandoSentinel.com
Several dozen pairs of eyeballs will examine ballots from Wellington’s disputed election when a hand count begins at 8 a.m. Saturday in the county elections office, the finale — or so many hope — to a string of lawsuits and weeks of confusion over the voters’ choices for three village council seats. “Just get it done,” candidate Al Paglia said. “The sooner, the better.” On Wednesday, within a half-day of the village’s canvassing board deciding that a manual recount was the only way to swear in winners indisputably, seven Wellington residents filed a complaint in Palm Beach County Circuit Court asking for just that. Judge Robin Rosenberg on Thursday ordered a manual recount of the March 13 races, which yielded incorrect winners because of an apparent software error.
A hand recount could come soon for Wellington residents weary over disputed election results that have left the village council in limbo. On Wednesday, one day after the village’s canvassing board said it wanted a hand recount, seven Wellington residents filed a complaint, as did council candidate John Greene, seeking a court-ordered recount of Wellington’s March 13 races. The county’s elections office and the canvassing board Tuesday agreed to file lawsuits for the recount, but did not say when those filings would happen. “We’re not going to wait on them,” said Greene, who filed a complaint late Wednesday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court. “If a hand recount is what is going to appease everybody, we want it to happen. We want to move on.”
A judge has the power to decide whether any candidates are sworn in to the village council tonight, as expected — and if those candidates can be only the original winners of Wellington’s disputed election. Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Robin Rosenberg is expected by this morning to decide whether to hold a hearing today to determine if Wellington’s canvassing board can certify only the village’s March 13 election results. According to a complaint filed Friday by former Wellington Mayor Kathy Foster and Wellington resident Gaye Scarpa, it would be “unlawful” for that board to accept any other results. That’s why they want the judge to stop the board from possibly swearing in candidates whom a March 19 revised tally of votes revealed to be the winners. Three other lawsuits, including one filed Monday, support the March 19 results.
Two Wellington residents – one of them the village’s first mayor – have filed a lawsuit to try to stop Tuesday’s swearing-in of candidates whom a March 19 recount determined were elected to the village council. A hearing will take place at 8:45 a.m. Monday in Palm Beach Circuit Court in front of Judge Robin Rosenberg. The lawsuit, filed by former mayor Kathy Foster and Gaye A. Scarpa, also seeks to stop the village canvassing board from certifying any election results other than those certified by county Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher on March 16.
Florida: Dominion Voting Systems: software ‘shortcoming’ led to Wellington election fiasco | Post on Politics
The supplier of Palm Beach County’s voting and tabulating equipment says a software “shortcoming” led to votes being assigned to the wrong candidates and the elections office declaring the wrong winners in two recent Wellington council races. Ballots from the March 13 Wellington election were counted properly. But the results were matched to the wrong races. Council candidates Shauna Hostetler and Al Paglia were declared winners on election night, but an audit six days later showed John Greene and Matt Willhite had in fact gotten more votes.
Florida: Dominion Voting Systems releases statement taking the blame for Palm Beach County vote problem | South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
The supplier of Palm Beach County’s voting and tabulating equipment says a software “shortcoming” led to votes being assigned to the wrong candidates and the elections office declaring the wrong winners in two recent Wellington council races. County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher, who insisted a computer glitch rather than human error was to blame for the fiasco, claimed vindication after Dominion Voting Systems released its statement. Wellington and 15 other municipalities held elections on March 13. In Wellington, the ballot was set up with the mayor’s race first, the Seat 1 council race second and the Seat 4 council race third. Unbeknownst to elections officials, the vote totals for the mayor’s race ended up being reported and later certified as the results of the Seat 1 race. The Seat 1 vote totals were certified as the Seat 4 results and the Seat 4 vote totals were certified as the mayoral results. The problem wasn’t discovered until six days after the election, during a routine audit. The audit found no similar problems in the 15 other cities that held elections. The fact that the audit is conducted after winners are certified is a requirement of state law. Bucher said her office “will be working with the state to ask for the necessary law changes.”
Florida: Lawsuits brewing as all four candidates in Wellington recount stand their ground | Palm Beach Post
The Wellington council candidates wrongly named winners during last week’s election aren’t convinced Monday’s vote retabulation was accurate, nor will they give up their seats to the apparent winners. But the winners, whom Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said were denied victory because of a software glitch, have no doubt Monday’s count was correct, and one has taken legal action. “It’s my responsibility to make sure the village of Wellington voters are heard. I’m filing it on their behalf,” said Vice Mayor Matt Willhite, who filed a complaint Tuesday in Palm Beach County Circuit Court against Wellington’s canvassing board and whose campaign declared him a “decisive” winner. The county elections office mistakenly named candidates Al Paglia and Shauna Hostetler winners in two council races and certified the March 13 results to the state on Friday. But a routine audit on Monday revealed that Willhite had easily defeated Paglia, while John Greene had edged past Hostetler. On Tuesday, the Wellington canvassing board that oversees election results tossed out the March 13 numbers and scheduled a meeting March 27 to decide whether to certify Monday’s retabulated numbers instead. But confusion and emotion were running high on Tuesday.
Palm Beach County’s elections office appears to have figured out the correct results for three Wellington elections after declaring two wrong winners last week and certifying the results to the state. But in the home of the 2000 “butterfly ballot,” does the fact that erroneous results went undetected for nearly six days in an election with fewer than 6,000 voters carry implications for the November presidential election? Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher characterized the problem as an isolated and unprecedented software glitch that was detected and corrected using routine audit procedures. She said no one in her office is to blame — and she took exception to questions about whether voters might question her office’s ability to deliver accurate results in the future. “This is not a human error. This is a computer-generated error, one that is on a computer system that is tested and certified by the state of Florida,” Bucher told reporters.