Voters in Hamburg Central School will soon know their school budget vote results now that the problem with a malfunctioning ballot machine has been solved. Erie County Board of Elections Michael Agostino told 2 On Your Side a malfunctioning USB stick drive could not read the final results Tuesday night. The machine was sealed and taken away. Agostino said voting officials took all the paper ballots inserted into the machine Wednesday morning, and re-inserted them into a different machine and used a new stick drive to tally up the results. He went on to say sometimes technology will work well one minute and fail the next.
Paper ballots in the Municipal Council District 1 race will be counted by hand Wednesday because of a technical problem that may have resulted in a miscount in a very close race. The unofficial vote tally after Election Day separated winner Gary Winterton from Bonnie Morrow by just nine votes — 804 to 795. Morrow asked for a recount, which was taking place Tuesday when county election officials concluded they had machine problems.
“The numbers were varying too much,” said Utah County Chief Deputy Clerk/Auditor Scott Hogensen. “It became obvious the machines weren’t counting things correctly.” The county was bringing in technical support from the machines’ vendor, Dominion Voting Systems. The scanners read paper ballots and feed results into computer software that totals the results.
New York: Voting technology frustrates Ontario County officials | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com
The high-tech voting systems now being used across the country may provide a secure and accurate method of tallying votes, but they don’t necessarily offer a fast and efficient method of getting results out to the public. Like most places, polls closed in Ontario County at 9 p.m. Tuesday, and Board of Elections officials there managed to get the memory cards from voting machines in 92 districts to their office on Ontario Street in Canandaigua by 11:10 p.m., where the cards were “read” by a computer.
But because of a software glitch, it wasn’t until about 9 a.m. Wednesday before the complete results were actually posted on the Board’s website. In Wayne County, memory cards from 67 machines were delivered to the Board of Elections office in Lyons by about 10:15 p.m., but the results weren’t posted on the site for another three hours.
Foot traffic on the Hinds County Courthouse’s basement level went from casual to concentrated as the clock ticked Monday afternoon. Hallways began to get congested as Republican and Democratic managers at the county’s 119 precincts each picked up their box of supplies for today’s primary runoff – red for Republican and blue for Democrat.
A couple of hours earlier, employees in the circuit clerk’s office began placing completed absentee ballots in the numbered precinct boxes. Preparations were quiet and deliberate, in sharp contrast to the constant buzz and raised voices in the days following the Aug. 2 primary. Primary-day snafus with ballots, voting machines and poll workers to post-election arguments about absentee ballots and vote-counting security, increased tensions in the Democratic primary.
“I hope it will be a different day tomorrow,” Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee chairman Claude McInnis said Monday. “The lack of information on how elections work contributed to it more than anything.”
The Democratic primary runoff is set for Tuesday. There were some issues reported during the primary election earlier this month. Hinds County Election Commissioner Connie Cochran said the only voting machine problems were at the Wynndale precinct and that was because they weren’t programmed correctly. But Cochran’s fellow commissioner, Jermal Clark, said he thinks the machines need to be replaced.
The machines were bought in 2002. The commission has $1.3 million set aside to buy new machines or upgrade them. It would cost more than that to replace them, Cochran said. Each voting machine has its own red bar code, which is the number they were programmed at the warehouse with and then sealed. During the primary election there were complaints about wrong ballots or not enough paper ballots at several precinct sites in the city.
The loser in the Hinds County House District 73 Democratic primary is formally contesting the results. Terry resident Gay Polk said she hand-delivered a notice of contest Thursday afternoon to Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee chairman Claude McInnis. She lost by 90 votes to attorney Brad Oberhousen, also of Terry.
Polk, a registered nurse, wants a review and recount of all ballots – paper, electronic, affidavit, absentee and disqualified – plus poll books, sign-in registries and signature counts in the 13 precincts that are part of District 73.
While several other candidates have complained about election irregularities in the Democratic primary in Hinds County, none has taken the same step as Polk. Polk’s notice puts into motion what could end up as a court challenge.
Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin says he won’t challenge the election results from last week’s Democratic primary. He notified the media through a press release Thursday. On Friday, WLBT News got an exclusive interview with the outgoing sheriff.
McMillin has a history of making colorful remarks. His press release actually had some comments on color, directed at his opponent. McMillin says he will not challenge the votes, because he doesn’t believe examining them would make any difference, due to the problems in the election.
At 7:05 a.m. Aug. 2, Republican Executive Committee Chairman Pete Perry received an urgent call from a poll worker at the Wynndale Precinct in Terry. The poll worker told him that candidates’ names for certain races were not appearing on some of the electronic voting machines, and he needed more paper ballots quickly.
This was the first sign that something was awry in the Hinds County election process. Gay Polk, candidate for Democratic state representative of District 73, also received phone calls from supporters saying they could not find her name on the paper ballots or on voting machines.
Perry says that a technician must determine the cause of the computer glitches. But handing voters the wrong ballots isn’t uncommon at split precincts like Wynndale. A split precinct is where two different legislators represent its residents. Poll workers must verify the voter’s precinct, and make sure the machine displays the correct ballot or give the voter a correct paper ballot.
South Carolina: Audit shows Richland, Colleton Counties had most 2010 ballot problems | TheState.com
State election officials have finished a county-by-county review of the November 2010 vote, concluding that Richland County was one of the biggest offenders in miscounting those general-election ballots.
The eight-month auditing process determined that “human error” was the culprit in mistakes made in “a number of counties” across South Carolina, said Chris Whitmire, assistant director of the S.C. Election Commission. The discrepancies would not have changed the outcome of any race or issue, Whitmire said.
Conducting the audit forced state officials to develop a new computer program that counties can use to identify specific problems in data collection from the touchscreen machines. The state has been using the machines for six years. “We think future elections are going to be better because of it,” Whitmire said.
Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Claude McInnis is not allowing reporters in the committee’s meeting this evening on whether to certify the results from the Aug. 2 primary. McInnis turned away a Clarion-Ledger reporter at the door, saying news media would not be allowed. Asked why, he said, “because we have so desired it.”
The 18-member committee is facing criticism and scrutiny in the face of election-day snafus and a post-election ballot count fraught with problems. The committee is meeting at the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, 612 N. State St. in Jackson, to vote on certifying the results. Incumbent Hinds County Sheriff Malcolm McMillin will not address today as planned whether he’ll contest his loss to Tyrone Lewis in the Aug. 2 Democratic primary.
The contentious Hinds County election could be certified by the Democratic party as official this Tuesday. But, the fight will not end there. This appears to be headed to a courtroom. Campaign workers from several camps were keeping close watch over the ballot review process Saturday in the basement of the Hinds County Courthouse.
The most bitter debate is between Tyrone Lewis who currently leads incumbent Malcolm McMillin for county sheriff. McMillin’s camp said the election is wrought with too many questions at polling places throughout the city. The sheriff’s son isn’t the only one saying the election appears to be headed for a challenge.
Hinds County Democratic Party officials say they’ll do their best to wrap up absentee and affidavit ballot counts today, giving answers to several candidates whose races are up in the air. “We are trying to conclude this. I’m hoping we can conclude a lot of things Friday,” Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Claude McInnis said Thursday night.
Meanwhile, in Madison County, Republicans continued to count ballots into the night Thursday. The results could determine the outcome of at least three GOP primary races. In one of the pending Hinds County races, a final count and certification of votes will show whether incumbent Sheriff Malcolm McMillin makes it into a runoff with Democrat Tyrone Lewis, former Jackson Police deputy chief.
A day after some electronic voting machines malfunctioned in Hinds County, the mystery remains. “Everyone I’ve talked to is baffled,” Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee Chairman Claude McInnis said Wednesday.
At Wynndale Presbyterian Church, the electronic ballot failed to include races for governor or lieutenant governor. The precinct switched to paper ballots that included all the races.
This is the first time McInnis said he has seen the problem with these machines. “On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give the machines a 7.5 to 8,” said McInnis, who also is executive vice chairman of the Mississippi Democratic Party. Hinds County’s voting machines, which are about 10 years, are no longer manufactured. The company that made them, Advanced Voting Solutions, is out of business. Hinds County is the only county in Mississippi to use the system.
Results of Tuesday’s Hinds County Democratic primary appeared to remain up in the air today after vote count problems left some candidates doubting final tallies.
“What the public needs to know is that there is no election at this point,” said Claude McInnis, vice chairman of the Hinds County Democratic Executive Committee. “All we have is numbers from precincts. Until the committee verifies the election, we don’t have one.”
McInnis and members of his committee were at the Hinds County Courthouse this morning, trying to untangle the problems. It could take the rest of this week and part of next week to finish work required to verify the election, he said.
The types of problems experienced by voters at the polls Tuesday – machines not working, names missing from the ballots, lack of workers – are inexcusable. Mistakes happen and that seems to be the attitude of party officials in charge of the primary election. Well, no. They shouldn’t happen, not with elections.
Finding out at 7 a.m. on Election Day that a voting machine is not working properly or there is a malfunction that can’t be immediately fixed simply shows lack of preparation and ability to properly conduct an election. Not having enough poll workers or, worse, no poll workers to staff a precinct shows an inability to do the job.
Primary county election results came close to remaining incomplete this morning. At approximately 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, the election commission found themselves unable to extract poll results from two polling machines — one from the bypass fire precinct and one from the Pine Ridge precinct, Election Commissioner Larry Gardner said.
Precincts report their numbers to the courthouse via memory cards that are inserted into polling machines at the beginning of each Election Day, and for whatever reason, Gardner said, these two machines’ cards were faulty.
Data was recovered from the internal archives of the machines shortly after the problem was discovered, and Gardner said there’s no chance any result would have been skewed because of the mishap.
Issues started to arise at polling places in and around Jackson shortly after the polls opened at 7:00 A.M. In some instances, voters were turned away from the polls because they didn’t open on time. In one precinct, three of the biggest races were left off of the ballots.
There’s a significant issue for voters voting at the Wynndale Presbyterian church in Byram. “Our chief problem right now is that we had two races left off the machine, the Sheriff’s race and the Governor’s race on the Democratic machine,” says Virginia Terry, a Democratic Receiving and Returning Manager.
The ballots on the Republican ballot weren’t correct either. The Lieutenant Governor and Governor were left off that ballot. Election officials say the ballots were checked numerous times prior to the primary, but something obviously went very wrong. Terry says, “that’s how the machines came from the courthouse that’s how we got them from the courthouse they were already here when we got here so whatever problem it was we don’t know if it was in transition.”