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New Mexico e-Voting Machines Fail

Kim Griffith voted on Thursday - over and over and over.

She went to Valle Del Norte Community Center in Albuquerque, planning to vote for John Kerry. "I pushed his name, but a green check mark appeared before President Bush's name," she said.

Griffith erased the vote by touching the check mark at Bush's name. That's how a voter can alter a touch-screen ballot.

She again tried to vote for Kerry, but the screen again said she had voted for Bush. The third time, the screen agreed that her vote should go to Kerry.

She faced the same problem repeatedly as she filled out the rest of the ballot. On one item, "I had to vote five or six times," she said.
Some Voters Say Machines Failed, Incorrect Choices Appear on Screens

By Jim Ludwick
The Albuquerque Journal

Friday 22 October 2004

Kim Griffith voted on Thursday - over and over and over.

She's among the people in Bernalillo and Sandoval counties who say they have had trouble with early voting equipment. When they have tried to vote for a particular candidate, the touch-screen system has said they voted for somebody else.

It's a problem that can be fixed by the voters themselves- people can alter the selections on their ballots, up to the point when they indicate they are finished and officially cast the ballot.

For Griffith, it took a lot of altering.

She went to Valle Del Norte Community Center in Albuquerque, planning to vote for John Kerry. "I pushed his name, but a green check mark appeared before President Bush's name," she said.

Griffith erased the vote by touching the check mark at Bush's name. That's how a voter can alter a touch-screen ballot.

She again tried to vote for Kerry, but the screen again said she had voted for Bush. The third time, the screen agreed that her vote should go to Kerry.

She faced the same problem repeatedly as she filled out the rest of the ballot. On one item, "I had to vote five or six times," she said.

Michael Cadigan, president of the Albuquerque City Council, had a similar experience when he voted at City Hall.

"I cast my vote for president. I voted for Kerry and a check mark for Bush appeared," he said.

He reported the problem immediately and was shown how to alter the ballot.

Cadigan said he doesn't think he made a mistake the first time. "I was extremely careful to accurately touch the button for my choice for president," but the check mark appeared by the wrong name, he said.

Bernalillo County Clerk Mary Herrera said she doesn't believe the touch-screen system has been making mistakes. It's the fault of voters, she said Thursday.

Cadigan, for example, could have "leaned his palm on the touch screen and it hit the wrong button," she said.

In Sandoval County, three Rio Rancho residents said they had a similar problem, with opposite results. They said a touch-screen machine switched their presidential votes from Bush to Kerry.

Bureau of Elections Manager Eddie Gutierrez also said he doesn't believe there are problems with the machines.

But Gutierrez did replace one after someone complained- even though he found nothing wrong with it.

"He (the voter) felt so strongly about it, that I shut it down," Gutierrez said.

Herrera said she's heard stories from Democrats and Republicans. In some cases, when people have tried to vote a straight ticket, the screen has given their votes to every candidate in the opposite political party, she said.

She believes it's a people problem. "I have confidence in the machines," she said. "They are touch screens. People are touching them with their palms, or leaning their hand. ... They're hitting the wrong button."

Herrera and others said voters should be diligent about reviewing their touch-screen ballots so they can make alterations.

Griffith said she's afraid some votes will go to the wrong candidates by accident. "People need to know that they have to be careful," she said.

"I'm concerned that people who don't check and double-check will try to vote for a candidate and not realize that the vote went to another candidate," she said.

homepage: homepage: http://abqjournal.com/elex/246845elex10-22-04.htm
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angry. 23.Oct.2004 13:06

this thing here

every single problem described in this article is UNNACCEPTABLE. COMPLETELY UNNACCEPTABLE.

are we living in the early 18th. century?

are we a poor, helpless third world nation? should not the electronic voting machines work flawlessly, if we can even begin to claim we as a nation care about freedom and democracy?

just how hard can it be, really, to make something as important as voting machines work right the first time, or if not GO BACK TO THE FREAKING DRAWING BOARD and do it again and again and again until it IS right? how FUCKING hard can that be in a modern, unbelievably wealthy, technologically advanced society like ours?

come on fuckers, let's here some more excuses about why it's o.k. that voting machines don't work worth shit. let's here some more excuses about why an actual election is the right time to get the problems ironed out, yet the time BEFORE an election isn't. let's here some more excuses about how the care free attitude exhibited by one mary herrera, county clerk, is appropriate, how the unbelievable arrogance of BLAMING THE VOTERS for the problems SHE is responsible for is acceptable. yes?

what, am i being too hard on the technology, on the people? am i really? what is voting worth to you? so people fought wars and died and lost limbs and eyes so we could fuck up our elections because we were lazy and careless? america, the cheap, half assed, second rate, never gave a shit kind of place?...