BLOGGED BY Brad Friedman ON 6/4/2008 8:04PM
My Own Votes, Four of Them, Were Flipped Yesterday Before My Very Eyes
4 Out of 12 Ballot Selections Printed Out Incorrectly, Myriad Other Laws Violated
ES&S InkaVOTE Plus System Fails Miserably, Mars What Should Have Been a Simple Voting Experience During L.A. County's Very Low Turnout State Primary Election...
— Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG
As a fairly well-known Election Integrity journalist who has personally covered, for years, the myriad election woes of thousands (if not millions) of voters around the country who have tried to bring seemingly endless stories of votes flipped on e-voting systems to the attention of officials, these stories always continue to be remarkable to me, even if not to many others in the rest of the mainstream media.
It's even more troubling when one realizes that so little ever seems to be done in light of so many of these horror stories, as those very same failed systems are still deployed across the nation, with little or no modification to correct the mountains of documented problems even now, as we head towards an election likely to be of historic proportions this November.
What follows is yet another one of those stories, where a voter had vote selections flipped by the electronic voting system, such that candidates were chosen other than the ones intended to be selected by the voter, though no fault of his own.
But this time, the voter is me.
Though I've covered so many of these stories, it was nonetheless remarkable to see it happen before ones very eyes, as occurred yesterday when I voted here in Los Angeles during our very low turnout California state Primary election.
The ES&S electronic voting system that I used to try to vote on yesterday, ended up flipping a total of 4 out of the 12 contests and initiatives for which I had attempted to vote.
Right before my very eyes, the computer-printed ballot produced by the voting system I was using, incorrectly filled in bubbles for four of the races I was voting in. Had I not been incredibly careful, after the ballot was printed out, to painstakingly compare what was printed to what I actually voted for, I'd have never known my votes were being given to candidates I did not vote for.
Had I been a blind voter —- as the system I was using is largely intended for use by the disabled —- I would have cast my ballot without having a clue that a full 40% of the votes I'd tried to cast for various California Superior Court judges were flipped to other candidates...
After speaking late last night about the problem to Dean Logan, the current acting Registrar-Recorder for Los Angeles County (the country's largest voting jurisdiction) and officials from the CA Sec. of State's office, I can report the failed e-voting machine in question is now being quarantined for testing to try and determine what happened in this, just the latest in a mounting string of failures by voting systems made by ES&S, the country's largest supplier of voting equipment.
While the machine is being sequestered for examination —- and one wonders if the same swift action would have been promised to someone not as well known to both the Registrar's and Sec. of State's office —- we'll call that point the "good news" for the moment.
In addition to the stunning error-rate of the failed ES&S InkaVote Plus voting machine I had tried to use, my day at the polls yesterday additionally revealed an amazing number of apparent violations of federal law, the California state Election Code, and a number of local, Los Angeles County provisions.