ES&S Touch-Screens Flipping In 6 WV Counties

Published: Tue 28 Oct 2008 03:10 PM
ES Touch-Screens Keep Flipping in WV, Now in At Least 6 Counties
Same ES iVotronics Flipping Votes from Democrats to Republicans (and others) in At Least 4 States
Warnings About Thes Machines Issued Long Ago, Yet Dems Continue to Allow Their Use...
By Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG
The Charleston Gazette reports still more ES iVotronic touch-screen vote flipping in WV, including reports now from Jackson, Putnam, Berkeley, Ohio, Monongalia, and Greenbrier Counties.
Add those to the reports of vote-flipping on ES machines in at least four different states. We're also trying to find a moment to report on votes flipping in other states (including NV) on the Direct Recording Electronic (DRE, usually touch-screen) systems made by other private companies including Sequoia Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic.
Today's report mentions that these are older ES machines. We'll again remind everyone that Dan Rather produced an hour-long investigative report two years ago in which he reported on the touch-screens that ES was using and how they were causing these same problems even then. No one recalled those machines and now they continue to flip votes.
The DNC and Barack Obama campaign now tell us they are doing something about these problems "behind the scenes", they just won't tell us what it is they are doing, and the machines continued to be used, and votes continue to flip in WV, so far always from Democratic to Republican, and officials continue to blame the voters...
From the Charleston Gazette...
Most voters who complained said their votes switched from Obama to McCain. No one complained that their votes switched the opposite way.
Juan E. Gilbert, a professor at Auburn University's Center for Governmental Services...says the ways voting screens are set up cause problems.
"Some voters touching screens roll their fingers down the screen, trying to touch the names of the people they want. It is human nature."
People voting for Obama who do that,Gilbert said, may actually touch the area for McCain.
"But you cannot have John McCain losing votes to Barack Obama. If you touch McCain's name at the top of the screen, it will not switch to Barack Obama."
"This problem will keep occurring. Some voters notice. But a lot don't pay attention and might not notice."
CNN even ran a report last week (see video at below)suggesting the problem was due to voters accidentally touching the choice next to the one they are trying to vote for. That report doesn't explain what happened in TN when an attempted vote for Obama lit up the choice for Cynthia McKinney five rows away.
It also defies what was shown in the Dan Rather report, as votes were seen flipping again and again, even when the neighboring candidate was not being touched at all by the voter.
But, either way, officials say "don't worry"!...
"There are safeguards in the system. Here, in Monongalia County, we have a seven-page ballot and a three-page review screen where the machine tells you what people you voted for.
"Voters can review their votes before a third screen comes up and says, 'Is this the vote you want to make?' Then, you have to hit the word 'confirm'," [Monongalia County Clerk Carye L.] Blaney said.
Um, problem with that? A Rice University study showed us, two years ago, that of those voters who do manage to check their review screens at the end of the long process (and the huge majority don't), two-thirds of them don't notice when their selections have been flipped to different candidates or initiative.
Previous BRAD BLOG stories on ES vote-flipping and other failures follows below, along with steps you can take should this happen to you since, apparently, you're on your own, and the DNC will not be calling for these machines to be removed, or for you to be allowed to vote on paper ballots instead...
Recent ES iVotronic Failures as covered by The BRAD BLOG:
10/18/08: ES Vote-Flipping Seen in 2 WV Counties
10/21/08: Election Filmmaker Sees Own Vote Flipped From Dem in TN
10/22/08: Candidate Names Missing on Final Review Screens in SC
10/22/08: Votes Reportedly Flip R to D in Decatur Cty, TN
10/23/08: Vote Flips 5 Times From D to R in Another WV County
10/24/08: Straight-Party Votes Flip D to R in TX
10/25/08: Screen Blanks Out, Another Obama Vote Lost in TN
10/26/08: DNC Claims They're On it, Just Can't Tell Us What They're Doing
What to do if it happens to you:
Call poll supervisors to observe the problem.
Fill out a problem report.
Refuse to vote on that machine.
Request that the machine be taken out of service.
Get a serial number of the machine if possible (may be difficult in many cases).
Tell other voters in line which machine it was and that they should NOT vote on that machine!
Report it to county/town election office.
Report it to the Secretary of State.
Call local reporters and tell them the story.
Call voter problem hotlines (eg. 866-MYVOTE1 and 866-OUR-VOTE) and report it.
Contact bloggers and Election Integrity websites.
Raise holy hell.
And again, people, please bring a video camera/cell phone camera when you go to vote so you can document these problems on video tape, and then upload them to and YouTube!
(Thanks to and for help in compiling these recommendations!)
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