E-voting Woes Force New Election in N.C. County
Touch-screen errors led to loss of 4,400 ballots
News Story by Heather Havenstein
DECEMBER 06, 2004 (COMPUTERWORLD) – Voters in one North Carolina county can return to the polls next month to recast ballots that were lost due to a malfunctioning e-voting machine in the November election.
The state’s Board of Elections voted last week to allow about 4,400 Carteret County residents whose votes were lost — along with 19,600 who didn’t go to the polls — to cast ballots Jan. 11 for the state agriculture commissioner.
That was the only state or local race close enough for the 4,400 votes to make a difference, said Robert Cordle, one of five members of the board. In that race, challenger Steve Troxler has a 2,300-vote lead over incumbent Britt Cobb. The Jan. 11 votes will be added to the November result.
The votes were lost because the touch-screen system could store only 3,000 votes that day, far fewer than the 10,000 the machines should be able to handle, according to the manufacturer, UniLect Corp. in Dublin, Calif.
Poll workers didn’t immediately see that the machine had begun displaying a notice that said it couldn’t accept any more votes, Cordle said. The machines don’t produce paper copies of the ballots. “As a compromise, we agreed to allow those whose vote was not counted last time to vote, [as well as] anybody who didn’t vote last time,” Cordle said. “It’s a very unusual ruling, and each [candidate] has 10 days to appeal it in court. It may get changed if they do.”
The January election will cost the county $20,000, Cordle said, adding that it will use the same machines used in November but will allow only 3,000 votes per machine.
This is so fucked up, I can’t stand it. Once again, the only answer is to Volunteer to Count.
(Linked on Metafilter)