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Tag: Voting Machines (page 1 of 2)

TX – Fossils Running Amok: Subversion of Democracy by Old Election Machines and Travis County’s Unique Solution

By: Katie Teeters

In September of 2015, the Brennan Center for Justice published a report based on ten months of research, which looked at problems arising from aging voting machines. First, the report found that a majority of election districts in forty-three states are using ten-year old machines. There are fourteen states with machines fifteen-years or older. Considering the rapid pace of technology in the past fifteen years, these election machines are truly relics of the past. To illustrate how ancient these machines are; in 2000 Wikipedia nor iTunes existed. Many of the voting machines have minimal memory, such as in Allen County where the machine’s memory cards can contain only 250 megabytes of data. Samsung’s new basic Galaxy S6 smartphone can hold up to 32 gigabytes of data, which is approximately 128 times more memory than those machines.

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KS: Lack of Election Post-Audit Leaves Uncertainty in the Sunflower State

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Does anyone really watch the watchman? In Kansas, the state’s lack of an election post-audit is raising some questions, and a university professor wants to run the numbers on electronic voting machines in and around the state’s largest city.

Like other states across the Union, Kansas began using electronic voting machines following the presidential election of 2000 and the infamous “hanging chad” debacle in Florida. While many Kansas counties use optical scan paper ballots, the two most populous counties in the state, Sedgwick County (home of the state’s largest city, Wichita) and Johnson County (home of some of the most affluent Kansas City suburbs) use electronic voting machines. And while the machines in Sedgwick County print an extensive paper receipt, the machines used in Johnson County do not leave a paper trail.

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Vote-Flipping in Maryland: The Consequence of Voting with Dinosaurs

By Caitlin Whalan

The gubernatorial race in Maryland, the notoriously blue state, was tighter than anticipated. Larry Hogan, the Republican nominee, narrowly beat out the Democratic candidate, Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown. Now that the dust is beginning to settle from the shocking upset, a new issue is creeping into the forefront: faulty voting machines. Continue reading

Virginia’s Faulty Voting Machines in the 2014 Midterm Elections

By Jonathan Gonzalez

The 2014 midterm elections on November 4th culminated in major victories for the Republican Party, which succeeded in wresting control of the United States Senate from the Democrats by slim margins. Among the Republican Party Senate hopefuls, Ed Gillespie made waves in Virginia on election night, and came within a percentage point of ousting popular Democratic incumbent, Mark Warner. Warner, a former governor of Virginia, came about 16,000 votes shy of suffering a major upset. Continue reading

Weekly Wrap Up


Supreme Court throws out voting machine judgment: The Supreme Court decided this week to throw out a suit against Dallas County over its use of iVotronic voting machines. The Democratic Party sued the county claiming that the confusing straight-party feature of the machines was not approved by the Justice Department. The Supreme Court considered the charge moot since the Justice Department has since approved the use of the machines.


Getting rid of the “winner-take-all” electoral system: Pennsylvania Republican Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi is looking to drop the winner-take-all method and adopt a split system for electoral voting. In the new system an electoral vote would be given to the winner of each of Pennsylvania’s 19 congressional districts with the remaining Senate votes given to the winner of the popular vote. Many PA Republicans, who lost the 2008 electoral vote, argue that a split system more accurately reflects the diversity of voters. Others have criticized the proposition stating that candidates will lose interest in the large battleground state if the vote is split.


South Carolina GOP to cover Primary Election Costs: The Republican Party in South Carolina has agreed to pay all additional costs of the primary election there. This comes after many in the state had expressed concern about covering the costs of the 2012 Republican presidential primary. Nevertheless, several counties have authorized their attorneys to use legal means to protect county interests and coffers. The Republican Party will cover “legitimate costs” over and above what the state Election Commission will reimburse counties for conducting their elections. The Democratic Party does not currently plan to conduct a primary election in South Carolina.

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The Nightmares from Bridgeport

As the November election entered the early afternoon, poll workers in the City of Bridgeport, Connecticut began to notice something strange.  With many hours of voting left, there was an unusually small amount of ballots remaining. Those concerns quickly turned to nightmares as precincts all across the city ran out of ballots. Confusion and tempers grew as fast as the lines voters were forced to stand in.  People began to turn away without voting, their civic duty inaccessible.

Registrars were told by the Secretary of State to photo copy ballots at the city print shop.  They began delivering the needy precincts packets of 100 ballots at a time. People who waited were given the opportunity to vote on a photocopied ballot. The State’s Democratic Party sued the City for not providing enough ballots and asked for immediate action. Superior Court Judge Marshall K. Berger, Jr. made the ruling that the polls at 12 precincts would remain open until 10PM, two hours beyond the normal closing. During this extra time about 500 votes were cast. Continue reading

Paperless Gangstas: The Reliability of South Carolina Voting Machines

The U.S. democratic system is no stranger to meteoric rises.  This is the country that pit a community organizer against a PTA mom from America’s Siberia for the leader of the free world.  Yet our penchant for the underdog doesn’t always mean a free pass.  So when Alvin Greene—an unemployed, cash-strapped veteran who is facing felony obscenity chargeswon the Democratic primary for a shot against incumbent Jim DeMint for the U.S. Senate, a concerned citizen raised some questions.  Specifically, could electronic voting machines be to blame for such a bizarre result? Continue reading

Optical Scanners, Punch Cards, and Levers: New York City’s Continuing War Against the Machines

http://electls.blogs.wm.edu/files/2010/11/terminator.jpg
Photo taken at New York’s 32nd Precinct. Voters had some difficulty with New York’s new “Terminator” voting machines.

In the fallout of the 2000 U.S.  Presidential Election, the U.S. Congress and President Bush passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (“HAVA”) to prevent a recurrence of the voter confusion and vote invalidation that occurred in that election.  Among its provisions, HAVA required states to create electronic voter registration lists, implement stricter voter identification standards, and transition to modern electronic voting machines.  These changes were met with resistance from voting rights advocates and state officials; nevertheless the number of HAVA compliant localities continues to increase.  New York remained among the states that did not implement key provisions of HAVA, even in the face of challenges from the U.S. Justice Department. Continue reading

Weekly Wrap-Up

Did Michelle Obama violate Illinois state election law? After Michelle Obama turned in her early voting ballot yesterday, she stopped outside the voting booth to take pictures with people in the area, including an electrician, Dennis Campbell. According to Campbell and a reporter who was nearby, Michelle stated that it was very important that he vote “to help keep her husband’s agenda going.” Illinois state law (Sec. 17-29 (a)) states that “No judge of election, pollwatcher, or other person shall, at any primary or election, do any electioneering or soliciting of votes or engage in any political discussion within any polling place, within 100 feet of any polling place.” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs responded to the accusation by stating that “I don’t think it would be much to imagine, the First Lady might support her husband’s agenda.”

Charges were filed against a Maryland man, Jerry Mathis, for distributing an official-looking sample ballot that turned out to be fake.  The false ballots alarmed several candidates when they saw that the wrong matchups were checked.  Under Maryland law, Mr. Mathis could be facing a maximum of one year in jail and a $25,000 fine. Continue reading

Weekly Wrap-Up

“Lisa M. Write In and Fill In” is the proposed slogan from supporters of Lisa Murkowski’s proposed write-in campaign.  Alaska elections director said that voters would only have to use Murkowski’s first name and last initial for it to count, but that they would also have to be sure to fill in the bubble next to her name.  The actual vote is the filled in bubble, not the written name.

Carl P. Paladino, a Republican candidate for governor in New York, sent out a typical negative mailing stating that “Something really stinks in Albany.” However, the ad is anything but typical as soon as a person opens the envelope and is greeted with the “unmistakable odor” of “rotting vegetables.” Read this article for more info. Continue reading

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