Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

It has started -- voting machine "glitch" disenfranchises Nashville voter

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU
 
Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-16-08 10:14 PM
Original message
It has started -- voting machine "glitch" disenfranchises Nashville voter
Edited on Thu Oct-16-08 10:22 PM by Fly by night
I just received this email from a friend here in Nashville. All of us know that her experience will be repeated many times over the next few weeks.

Goddamn non-verifiable voting machines and the red elephants they rode in on.
--------------

Hi Bernie,

How are you friend? I apologize for not corresponding lately but I have been sending positive thoughts your way over the issues with the farm. I hope things are going better there and please do keep us all posted.

Tonight I come to you feeling a myriad of emotions. After work today, Cas and I decided, while our schedule was free, to make a trip to our local library to exchange some books and vote. I have followed each event within the current election campaign. I've watched every debate, listened to countless interviews and correspondent reports. To finally be able to cast my vote, I felt like a kid on the first day of school.

We get there, the lines are fairly short, we breeze through the check points and I'm standing at my little blue voting machine. I hit the button for "Go to Ballot" and nothing happens. I hit it again. The ballot flashes momentarily but a blank screen appears. I look around for a "helper" but they are all busy helping other voters. I hit the forward button, the back button and finally the "vote" button which turned out to be the kiss of death; an ominous blue screen appeared.

By this time the "helper" appeared in my area again and I explained to her that I never got to the ballot page and now this blue screen appeared. She immediately told me, "yes ma'am, you voted". I was like, "NO, I haven't. I never even got to see the ballot." Again she insists that I voted. Again, a little more firmly I state I had not. I guess she sensed that I was beginning to get a bit excited because she launched into this spiel of how I must have hit a button somewhere because the blue screen would not appear if I had not cast a vote for at least one name. I argued that this seemed ridiculous to me as I knew for a fact I had NOT selected ANYONE'S name.

Her final words to me were, "Ma'am the machine says you voted, so please move along." By this time, Cas appeared and asked what was wrong because I had this look on my face. I explained to him and he immediately agreed. The "helper" had already moved to another area to get away from me.

I quickly made my way into one of the isles in the library and broke down and sobbed into a row of books. I was/am heartbroken, and angry and I feel cheated of my right as an American citizen to cast my vote for my candidate, yet some stupid machine tells the state that "I voted" just because the blue screen appeared. I have never fully understood the need of voting reform in this country than I am right now, Bernie.

What can I do? Who can I contact? The election commission? Do I even have any recourse? I suspect there are people I can contact but I fear there is no recourse other than a valuable lesson on why I need to be more involved in helping make sure some of these changes happen in our country.

If I knew you wouldn't have run me off the property with a shotgun, I'd driven to Santa Fe tonight and cried on your porch and ranted and vented. You were the first person I thought of and given my acquaintance with you, I find it ironic that I am able to share this experience with you. I'm not sure it's a coincidence. Maybe there is someway I can be involved in this process? I have worked for a marketing firm for 20 years and have learned a few tricks of the trade. I'm a half decent writer and I make friends easily and have no problem speaking before a crowd. What can I do?

The only one consolation is that the candidate I did not want to vote for did not get my vote, but the candidate who needs my vote, didn't get it either.

Tracey

-----
This is how I responded to Tracey:

Tracey,

I am so sorry to hear about your experience. My expectation is that it will not be an isolated experience this year. I wish you could have reached me before leaving the polling place (which would have been impossible, I know) because I would have suggested that you ignore the helper and ask to speak to the ranking poll officials at your polling place. You should have demanded that the machine be decommissioned (or tested) immediately. If I had been there and experienced the same thing, I would have picked up the offending machine and thrown it out the window. (I guess, with my "history", it is good I was not there.)

I am forwarding your email to six people: Leon Alligood, who writes for the Tennessean and USA Today; Jennifer Buck Wallace, who works with the Obama campaign; David Earnhardt, the producer/director of "Uncounted: The New Math of American Elections"; Hedy Weinberg with the ACLU-TN; John Gideon with Voters Unite; and Deborah Narrigan, who (among many other things) volunteers with the League of Women Voters. I will ask these people to contact you if they can help you get your right to vote and/or can help publicize your experience. I will also post your experience on the "Gathering To Save Our Democracy" listserv and on another election integrity web-site. The more people who are made aware of your experience, the better.

Tomorrow morning, you need to call Ray Barrett, the Davidson County Election Coordinator, to report your experience in detail and to demand your right to vote. If you get no satisfaction with Ray, you need to call Eddie Bryant, who is the chair of the Davidson County Election Commission. (Ray should be able to give you Eddie's number.) I will also track down the national toll-free number you can use to report your experience and will send it to you unless one of the folks receiving this email can send that to you (and me) sooner. If I think of more to do now, I will let you know.

I am so sorry to read about your experience. Just compare this high-tech shell game with the simplicity of voting on a paper ballot. It's no wonder we are in the shape we are in right now. Hang in there and don't be silent. Now or ever.

Bernie


Postscript: I didn't have the heart to tell Tracey that no one -- not her, not her "helper" (sic), not the Davidson County Election Commission -- has a clue who her voting machine voted for. And they have no way of ever finding out.

Refresh | +26 Recommendations Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
gateley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-16-08 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
1. Well I'm glad it was you Tracey contacted. You certainly forwarded the
info to the powers that be, and gave her good advice. This is just so WRONG.

And the irritating 'helper' - they're not experts. They've been told this is how it works and they believe it. They probably aren't even aware of all the problems that have occurred.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-16-08 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. 1-866-OUR-VOTE: the number to report voting machine "glitches" and other attempts ...
... to destroy our democracy -- 2008 edition.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
cyberpj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #2
18. Might be a good idea to ask Skinner to perma-post this info throughout election season. Yes?
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. That is a great idea. We need to get the word out anyway we can.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-16-08 10:29 PM
Response to Original message
3. K&R! Get this story out! Nobody knows who the machine is selecting!
I hope she kept here number so it might possibly be checked. That machine needs to be tested, not that testing means much! :grr:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-16-08 10:31 PM
Response to Original message
4. Shite! Here we go.
What kind of machine, Bernie?

Sounds like an iVotronic, the same damn vote-eater much of PA will be using, including me. That "helper" (pollworker) should never have left that machine until a ballot appeared for the voter.

I hope Tracey files a formal HAVA Complaint.

MB
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-16-08 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. It was an ES&S iVotronic alright.
We tried to get opscan in Nashville for this election but the goddamned local election officials farted around until it was too late to do anything. Instead, they rented 300 of these vote-stealing abacuses that use invisible beads.

How does she file a formal HAVA complaint?

Also, it was pretty ominous that the "helper" kept insisting that she MUST have voted for someone -- otherwise, the blue screen would not appear. Makes me think the machine was pre-programmed with a McBlinky default.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-16-08 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. TN HAVA Complaint Instructions HERE, with some more info.

http://state.tn.us/sos/election/hava/index.htm#1

File it based on voting system standards. Machine is supposed to accurately count voters intention.

They may say it does not qualify as a Title III but at the very least they will have to deal with it and it will get their attention.

Also Tracey should file a complaint with the county about both the iVo and the pollworker. Again, after sticking in the PEB (Personal Electronic Ballot, that starts the machine for each voter) that pollworker had a responsibility to stay with that machine until a ballot appeared. If no ballot came up it should have been taken out of service.

The sad thing is, on an iVo, you have to hit the "VOTE" button twice to cast a ballot. Did Tracey hit it twice? If not, something is desperately wrong.

MB
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Fly by night Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-16-08 10:57 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks, DD. I will pass this on to Tracey.
I have the feeling that Tracey is about to show TN election officials what a real pit-bull with lipstick looks like. (She helped me rescue a beautiful white German Shepherd last year, who now lives contentedly on my farm after ten years on a short chain in east Nashville.)
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
KaryninMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-16-08 11:08 PM
Response to Original message
8. Yes indeed- I'm afraid this is only the beginning.
Fasten your seatbelts everyone, we are in for a very intense few weeks as early voting begins. Here in Florida we have the extra bonus of having it be illegal to count the paper ballots in the case of a close election because only machines can be recounted in these situations without going to court. We fought hard for new machines and traded our DREs for OptiScans and not only have they not (as far as I know) set up any random audits, the paper ballots cannot be used for a recount without a court fight. Amazing and terrifying.

Keep up the great work, Bernie!

Let's all just stay on top of this and keep educating everyone we know about what we can and must do to protect our vote - and you are correct- staying silent is not an option. Not now. Not ever.

Everyone- please be sure that you all sees and help distribute "Uncounted" and "Stealing America Vote by Vote" and "Murder, Spies and Voting Lies" (all available for purchase at very reasonable prices at their websites. And learn what you can and must do to help stop election fraud.


Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-16-08 11:36 PM
Response to Original message
9. K&R,
because we can handle this stuff now.

:patriot:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-16-08 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
10. Can we take our cell phones into the booth and take the photos
of this crap?
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
satya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. Excellent idea. And if you have a cell phone that takes videos, all the better. nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
FatDave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 12:22 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Photos may not be enough.
Video would be better, but I have no idea what the rules regarding such things would be, and they almost surely vary by state.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. I want to believe that as long as I am taking an image of MY vote
Edited on Fri Oct-17-08 09:34 AM by goclark
it should be OK.

Wish someone could tell me because I want to know.

And,we need a legal opinion of what rights we have when someone tells us at the polls what we have to do -- I think at the very least I need their badge number.

I know one thing,goclark will go crazy in that polling place if they even look like they have a bad machine!

I have worked at the polling places three times and for the most part, I believe they did the best by everyone.

Does Obama's website have the rules that can tell me what I can and can not do when I am in that polling location?

We need to all be armed on November 4 or before to question each and everything!

I am goclark FIRED UP about this -- they are running all around screaming about ACORN while the Rove Nuts are stealing our votes.
It's the old shell game!

:mad:
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
blue cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. i'm going to
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
goclark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. I'm going to and I'm going to ask where is the information posted
about numbers to call if their is a problem when I vote.
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
quiet.american Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 03:01 AM
Response to Original message
13. K&R nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
Stevepol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-17-08 05:17 AM
Response to Original message
14. Highest possible K&R!!
Printer Friendly | Permalink | Reply | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Wed Jul 23rd 2014, 07:00 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC