Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Electronic voting machines still switching votes

with 32 comments

This report is of machines switching Democratic votes to the Republican candidate.

UPDATE: More here, including:

Three Putnam County voters say electronic voting machines changed their votes from Democrats to Republicans when they cast early ballots last week.

This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for “Barack Obama” kept flipping to “John McCain”.

In both counties, Republicans are responsible for overseeing elections. Both county clerks said the problem is isolated.

They also blamed voters for not being more careful.

“People make mistakes more than machines,” said Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright.

Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield.

“I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican,” she said. “I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.

“I asked them for a printout of my votes,” Ketchum said. “But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way.

“I heard from some other people they also had trouble. But no one in there knew how to fix it,” said Ketchum, who is not related to Menis Ketchum, a Democratic Supreme Court candidate.

Ketchum’s son, Chris, said he had the same problem. And Bobbi Oates of Scott Depot said her vote for incumbent Democratic Sen. John D. Rockefeller was switched to GOP opponent Jay Wolfe.

“I touched the one I wanted, Rockefeller, and the machine put a checkmark on the Republican instead,” Oates said of her experience Thursday.

She said she caught the mistake, called over a worker in the county clerk’s office and was able to correct her vote. But she worries other voters may not catch such a mistake.

When asked if she is sure she touched the box for Rockefeller, she said, “I’m absolutely positive.” …

Written by Leisureguy

19 October 2008 at 12:40 pm

Posted in Election, Technology

32 Responses

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  1. Isn’t this going to happen on an episode of the Simpsons Nov 2nd? This is insane. This is immoral. Perverse.



    20 October 2008 at 11:40 am

  2. This is gonna happen in the minds of liberals all across the country!



    20 October 2008 at 11:49 am

  3. This is something like that happend in florida in 2000 and in Ohio in 2004.

    Watch out for the October events.


    Gene Hackworth

    20 October 2008 at 12:46 pm

  4. Anything to “doubt” the integrity of the American People. Remember 2006 put the Democrats & High Gas Prices in Control!!!



    20 October 2008 at 2:04 pm

  5. Michael I’m sorry to say that your comment doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    1. Who’s doubting the integrity of the American People?
    2. Do you think all Americans are totally trustworthy?
    3. What is the connection between Democrats (a political party) and high gas prices (charged by the oil industry, a collection of businesses)?
    4. Petroleum prices have recently dropped—do you credit the Democrats for that?

    Please don’t comment if you can’t make sense.



    20 October 2008 at 2:22 pm

  6. Once again the republican thugs are trying to steal the election. Those perpetrating in this fraud need to be punished. You want to know what’s actually going to “shred the fabric of our democracy”? It’s having three presidential elections in a row stolen by the morally bankrupt cronies of BushCo.



    20 October 2008 at 2:33 pm

  7. For what it’s worth, read today on an IT blog that voting a straight party ticket would prevent our vote for president from being switched in the voting machine.



    20 October 2008 at 4:57 pm

  8. This is crazy. I suggest we all call W. Va and have them look into this now!



    20 October 2008 at 7:36 pm

  9. Leisure Guy ,

    How about this ? A do nothing Democratically controlled Congress who has the lowest approval rating in the history of they United states who won’t approve offshore drilling for one ?

    You forget to easily that over $4 gas prices is an event that occured in the last two years because of a Congress that will do nothing to help the US get off the foreign petrol imports , the fact that we are borrowing almost half a trillion from China to pay Saudi Arabia for it’s Oil has totally escaped you .

    Did you actually think that informed Americans are going to kow tow to the liberal belief that the current financial crisis is due to GW Bush ? Barack Obama , Barney Frank and the liberal cronies know more than they are telling us , and the Dems made out like bandits with contributions from Freddy Mac and Fanny Mae .

    You have your head in the sand , and you should really wonder what Michael is talking about .



    20 October 2008 at 10:28 pm

  10. do you ever hear a report of it going the other way?


    verner creek

    21 October 2008 at 12:53 am

  11. Python: absolutely. Good post.
    ..if BO gets elected, we will lose more than our will to drill for independance. It will be a one world monetary system, we will lose freedom of the press — except for the networks that carry what our Dear Leader Obama wants to say, conservative talk radio already has a bull’s eye target painted on it by Nancy Pelosi, she’ll have her puppet to not veto a thing they want passed. It’s sad what is about to happen to this country…just sad. Our forefathers are rolling over in their graves. This is not what they fought so hard for! I wish people would wake up before it’s too late, but I’m afraid it’s so far gone now, there’s not much hope.



    21 October 2008 at 3:11 am

  12. Poor Python, poor ItsJustMe.

    Its you that have their heads in the sand. You seem to have never heard about anything like equality or fairness, or to have such a lot of money, that you don’t have to matter about any social questions. It is time for a change and not till it won’t work you can start crying of the “good old republican times”.



    21 October 2008 at 6:50 am

  13. Python,

    I’d suggest you take your own advice and pull your head out of the sand.

    McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, or his lobbying firm has taken more than $2 million from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dating to 2000. In December, Freddie Mac contributed $250,000 to last month’s GOP convention.

    Obama has received $120,349 in political donations from employees of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; McCain $21,550.

    Democrats made out like bandits, huh?



    21 October 2008 at 7:32 am

  14. I’d like to see more corroboration of this story with some reputable sources. You see, electronic voting always gives you the option to review before submitting. I know because I too have accidentally selected the wrong candidate and was able to fix it before submitting (and without any help). None of these voters would have ended up voting for the wrong candidate if they had an IQ over 20. This does indeed smack of the stupidity of the Florida voters whom, with all due respect, are too used to the government handling their every need to vote on their own.

    Paper ballots punched incorrectly? It must be fraud on the part of Republicans! Counties spend ridiculous amounts of money to get electronic voting in place to prevent this, and now it’s Republican fraud with rigged equipment. You actually believe that it’s someone else’s fault anytime something doesn’t go your way (hence Gore’s endless recounts and lawsuits in 2000). Then the Supreme court puts an end to that nonsense and even THAT is considered a conspiracy. What’s the next conspiracy you say? The groundwork has already been laid for that one. If you don’t vote for a raving big-government, Chicago machine, socialist who has made a habit of surrounding himself with racists, domestic terrorists, and other extremists, then you are racist. All the leftist pundits have been pushing that one for months.



    21 October 2008 at 8:34 am

  15. Here we go again!! Since this happened before I am surprised that they didn’t fix these machines and they had eight years to correct the problem…if this is the problem or Republicans who also behind making these machins, they won’t botter since it will be to their advantage of having another Republican get in to the white house. If this happenes in other countries like middle east or Brazile who bribe the poor to get the votes we wont be surprised and some how we accepted that this is the nature of those counties but America!!!!! THIS IS NOT AMERICA!!!!


    21 October 2008 at 9:39 am

  16. @ Python: I assume that you know that offshore drilling will not do anything to lower gas prices (which have already dropped, BTW, though I suspect that’s temporary). Oil discovered through offshore drilling will not be available for gasoline for years. Same with ANWR. Moreover, oil companies now are sitting on many leases which they have yet to drill.

    The real problem with oil prices is not that we aren’t drilling offshore, it’s that the easily recoverable oil is just about exhausted, and the oil that remains costs more and more to extract. Read some about Hubbert’s Peak. It has nothing to do with Congress (which, over the last 8 years, has been under (tenuous) Democratic control only the last two.

    The NY Times recently ran an excellent series tracing the roots of the current financial crisis. The series is based on documented fact, not ideological argument. It is clear that the responsibility for the crisis lies with Phil Gramm, who created a loophole that prevented regulation of derivatives, and Alan Greenspan, who told Congress to leave the loophole alone, since the Free Market would be self-regulating (Greenspan after the crash said that he didn’t realize that people would be greedy), and Chris Cox, who relied on companies voluntarily regulating themselves. I highly recommend that you remove your own head from wherever it is and read the series.

    @Itsjustme: you are raving, pushing fantasies at fact. There is absolutely no move toward a single world currency. There is no indication that freedom of the press is in any danger except from corporate control, where the danger is serious as the ownership of the press is held by fewer and fewer companies, and those tilted to the Right (talk radio, as you point out, Fox News, and the tendency of large companies to avoid antagonizing advertisers).

    @Chris: good summary of GOP talking points.



    21 October 2008 at 10:26 am

  17. This is just a “distraction” by the Democrats to divert people from the real facts! Isn’t this what Senator Obama said when the complaints about ACORN started coming in? HUM?????


    zoi / lakeland

    21 October 2008 at 10:32 am

  18. Zoi, I don’t quite get your point. The problems people have had and are having with electronic voting machines are real. The ACORN issue is separate and being addressed.



    21 October 2008 at 11:36 am

  19. Zoi,

    Would you be concerned if the above article said that votes for Republicans were magically turning into votes for Democrats in front of people’s eyes? What if the situation were reversed? Concentrate and try to imagine that…I’ll wait. Big problem, right? Voter fraud is no distraction…it undermines the whole voting process and seriously threatens fair elections.

    On the other hand, voter registration fraud is something very different. Not sure if you know this, but ACORN is required by law to turn in all those bogus Mickey Mouse registration cards for further scrutiny because the organization is not allotted the power to potentially throw out cards of people they don’t want to be registered. Mickey Mouse is not going to show up to vote on November 4th, and if he does, he will find out he’s not a registered voter because his registration card was flagged and thrown out.

    So yes, it looks like the whole ACORN debacle is a distraction because it won’t affect votes. On the other hand, messed up voting machines will. See the difference?



    21 October 2008 at 12:06 pm

  20. @leisure guy

    You state that the financial crises is about single loophole created by one person and maintained by Alan Greenspan. You site the New York Times as an unbiased source for your information. A liberal who site’s the New York Times is the same as a Conservative who site’s Fox News as there sole source. It does not make any sense to say that a single loophole has caused this. Reality dictates that this crisis is caused by a combination of subprime lending supported mostly by liberals and promoted by President Clinton. Earlier it was pointed out that Freddie and Fannie gave money to both parties. This is true, as there goal was to maintain the status quo. It is government involvement and requlation that leads to the corruption that allows behavior like that to continue.

    Off shore drilling would have prevented this problem but environmental lobby has succeded in preventing this from occuring despite the fact that it would help to reduce problems we currently have. We have been saying that we need to reduce dependance on foreign oil since the 60’s and we have done nothing to do so. All measures made by either side of the aisle are blocked by lobbying by oil, environmental, auto and foreign trade special interest groups.

    As far as freedom from the press is concerned, there is an indication of that being in danger, it is called the fairness doctrine. Read about that and it will be clear that while it claims balance it is intended to reduce the impact of conservative talk radio, not liberal press.

    However, I am confused about your comments addressed to itjustme, I am unclear if you are trying to say that corporate intrests are influencing network news (which would be true for both conservatives and liberals alike). I would also point out that mainstream media outlets are not doing there job. They should be talking about the issues and the policies of the canidates on the issues. They should be investigating the background of the candidates and reporting on relative issues of character, background, infuences and political views. Most of all this should be done in an objective and non partisan manner. I should have no idea who the anchor of a news broadcast intends to vote for in any election or for that matter the editor or writer of a newspaper report, unless they are a commentator.

    The problems with the government stem from corruption of the political party system. It is a defunct and undesired system that George Washington warned us not to commit ourselves to when he left office. The solution to this problem is to revamp the gevernment, iliminate unnecessary government programs, and restore the ability of the states and cities to be the main instrument of government in our lives.

    The only government agencies that are necesary fall under the umbrella of homeland security, military and the branches as laid out in the constitution of the USA.



    21 October 2008 at 1:01 pm

  21. Many thanks for the courtesy of a complete reply. I suspect that, in the end, we will not be agreeing, but still, it’s a start.

    The NY Times has won any number of Pulitzer prizes and other awards for reporting and the story that I cited included verifiable information. Fox News, so far as I know, is not recognized as a source of reliable information in the way that the NY Times is.

    Obviously, the single loophole didn’t cause the whole thing. Greed certainly contributed (apparently to Greenspan’s surprise), and the lack of regulation and oversight played a major role. Your solution seems to be remove regulations and oversight and hope for the best, that that approach is what created the crisis.

    You say offshore drilling would have prevented the oil crisis. I say it would not. So there’s one area of disagreement. Certainly the crisis would have been significantly less if, say, starting with the first oil crisis during President Carter’s administration, the US had focused strongly on conservation (including regularly increasing CAFE standards and investing heavily in alternative energy sources. That approach was prevented by the auto and oil industries in effect buying off Congress—and by the GOP’s willingness to carry the water for any big business.

    Balance is balance. It can be bad, as when one party is guilty of very bad actions and newspapers try to find something to match in the other party. For example, newspapers and TV commentators during the Abramoff scandal tried to say that both Democrats and Republicans were implicated, which was totally false: it was Republicans alone. Abramoff was a Republican and he funneled money to Republicans, not to Democrats. But balance? fairness? Those can be good as well. In fact, Fox News regularly brags that it “fair and balanced,” though obviously it’s not.

    Corporations that own news stations generally clamp down on any negative reporting about themselves. And corporations are generally pro-business and thus find themselves aligned with the GOP philosophically. I agree that the mainstream media has greatly fallen down on the job, particularly on TV but also in the printed media. Radio seems almost totally pro-GOP and conservative (so far as talk shows are concerned).

    One problem with states doing the major job of governing is that state legislatures are particularly subject to corporate pressure—the power of large corporations is much greater than that of most states. Moreover, states have a poor track record with respect to civil rights. (Don’t forget, the Constitution was originally written to gain approval from slave states, and it is only through amendment and civil war that we eradicated slavery from the US, and the aftereffects in the South were terrible (in terms of civil rights) until the Federal Government stepped in.

    My greatest concern is not the existence of political parties (which seem to me to be inevitable) but rather the Military-Industrial-Congress complex, which Dwight Eisenhower warned us about (though he was pressured to not mention Congress, which nevertheless is a vital ingredient of the mix).

    You seem willing to abandon all sorts of government functions that were added after terrible events and great pain: the SEC, FDA, FAA, EPA, and the like. I’m not willing to do that. I want to strengthen those agencies, give them more explicit missions, and exercise careful oversight to ensure that they are doing their jobs.



    21 October 2008 at 1:39 pm

  22. Leisure Guy,
    Thank you for your coherent, rational responses. Alas, I think there is no meeting ground. I used to think this country was falsely polarized, but I don’t think that any more. I think there simply is no area where “facts” count any more. Anyone (including Democrats – as I well know, being an Illinois resident) can steal elections, become corrupt, and manipulate facts. I want to believe that everyone’s reality is valid and yet the comment that Obama will try to silence all views but his is so blatantly ignorant. I feel like a whiny elementary school kid: “Why can’t we all just get along?” Perhaps there is no answer. We just can’t. Perhaps there is no middle ground.



    21 October 2008 at 6:00 pm

  23. God works in mysterious ways



    21 October 2008 at 7:20 pm

  24. With two doctorates, I’m rarely seen as stupid. In 2004, when I voted for Kerry, the machine showed Bush, not once but repeatedly. I notified the Precinct Judge and Secretary of State and got pooh-poohed. My sister had the same experience. My precinct in New Mexico (511) turned out to have more votes for Bush than there were registered voters in the precinct. It’s part of why Kerry conceded so soon. People need to move out of comforting denial and recognize that the election can be and was stolen. Kari Ward Karr, Ph.D, J.D.


    Kari Ward Karr, Ph.D, J.D.

    21 October 2008 at 10:17 pm

  25. Why is it that only Democrats seem to have trouble voting? You never hear of a Republican saying the machine switched my vote or I know I punched the ticket hard enough. Just curious.



    22 October 2008 at 5:10 am

  26. It’s discouraging that this election has so many scandals at every turn.

    No single word can describe the horrible twists and turns we’ve seen in this election. Included is the disappointment in the mainstream press for not reporting the things we NEED to know as a country.



    22 October 2008 at 9:23 am

  27. I really wonder who Obama will vote for.. There’s no button that says ‘present’… That’s been his vote 104 of 116 times in the state senate…
    The guy if voted president will have to make a choice EVERY time and then stand behind that.. scary thought..



    22 October 2008 at 10:05 am

  28. It shouldn’t be the case that we should even have to fear these ridiculous voting problems. Why on earth would we choose to use voting machines that must be repeatedly calibrated in order not to send votes the wrong way?



    22 October 2008 at 10:18 am

  29. @ Hugh: So you’re not voting for McCain, I gather. He hasn’t voted in the Senate for months, not even for his own bills. (In fact, he voted against one of his own bills.)



    22 October 2008 at 10:28 am

  30. The world votes for Obama. Obama will win.
    For peace worldwide, for decent talks with other countries, for a world-economy, for the best of all US citizen, Obama needs to win.

    Hey, can see France from here, now i’m sure i can be a great VP!



    22 October 2008 at 10:31 am

  31. Thank you to LeisureGuy for your insight and informative comments.

    I’m similary weary of the fear-mongering that I feel has lead to a country in which everyone feels the other is out to get him. This country was established as a refuge for the meek from the tyranny of religious organizations and monarchies and their selfish policies. No one people has the inherent right to “be on top.” This government is legitimate if, and only if, the majority of the people consent to its rule. That is the principle upon which the Constitution stands. But Americans never have, and never will, all agree.

    Americans are a multiplicity of views and ethnicities and histories, and cannot be defined by any one allegiance other then the care and stewardship of the land we share, and an unwavering allegiance to the sick, the poor and the downtrodden. When did the bullies come back in and take over? Why do we let them divide us when we’re all scrambling for the same crumbs of the pie? There’s only one pie. And you can’t grow a pie…only divide it accordingly.

    Instead of trying to let one man change our public perceptions and policies, we each have to do our part. Talk to people. All kinds of people. People you’d never talk to in your daily interactions. Find out their stories. Get to know your country…and then, maybe you can “make things right.”



    22 October 2008 at 1:56 pm

  32. @ ForHope: Your own comments are quite good. Very clear and very to the point.



    22 October 2008 at 3:26 pm

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