Reports of serious errors occurring Election Day in electronic-voting machines in Fulton County demonstrate the urgency of passing legislation to verify the accuracy of our voting systems. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp called Fulton County’s election administration a “debacle,” noting that this is yet another example of “the constant and systemic nature of election failures in Fulton County.” During this summer’s primary elections, several Fulton County precincts also reported a substantial disparity between registered voters and ballots. Voting-machine errors resulted in voter turnouts that exceeded 100 percent in some precincts. This figure is astronomical when compared to the statewide turnout that averaged between 10 and 20 percent. But one precinct had an impossible turnout of 23,300 percent. These kinds of problems with voting machines are precisely why I introduced H.R. 6246, the Verifying Official Totals for Elections (VOTE) Act. Not only does it improve our confidence in election data through transparency and accountability, more importantly, it assures accuracy.
Let me be clear: I don’t blame Fulton Elections Interim Director Sharon Mitchell for these problems. Machine errors like Fulton County’s are a common problem in elections nationwide and could have been present in the 158 other counties in Georgia.
ABC News reports that “failed and faulty e-voting machines” were the likely culprit behind long election lines and other voting problems on Election Day.
Pamela Smith, president of Verified Voting Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on elections and voting, calls these faulty voting machines “an electronic version of the lever,” which was the basis of so much controversy in the 2000 Florida election.
In one widespread report confirmed by MSNBC, a miscalibrated voting machine used in Pennsylvania in the Nov. 6 election repeatedly did not allow the voter to properly select a desired candidate. Election officials later removed this machine for recalibration.
Joseph Hall, the senior staff technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology, also pointed out on Twitter that this happens often, but there’s no way of knowing whether it’s the result of malicious hacking or simply an error with the machine or user.
Full Article: Voting flaws | Atlanta Forward.