ELECTION LINES "We have got to fix that."

American Elections remain an embarrassment

Most of us can agree that the American election process is in sorry shape. President Obama referred to one element of the problem in his victory speech in Chicago last night. (The segment below is cued up to his words. You can skip the ad after 3 seconds)

Yesterday, I watched for the most serious violations of election law and the malfunction of electronic machines during the course of the Tuesday election. No matter how you feel about who came away with the victory, it is obvious that we lost as voters.

No matter for whom a vote was cast, who could be proud of the process? Is this the best process a democracy can devise to cast our vote? – people forced to stand in line for hours, voters scrubbed from voter rolls, partisan election officials changing rules that are obviously meant to sway the count, and most alarming of all, using vote machines that are supplied and programed by a handful of private corporations with no oversight.

Below are 22 instances of serious problems in our election system that have cropped up in every election for the past decade. Will we finally agree to fix this?

NEW YORK Councilman Says There is a ‘Complete Breakdown’ With Voting in Flatbush

Reports of chaotic situations at the polls around New York City this Election Day are mounting. The areas on the southwestern tip of Brooklyn that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy have experienced issues, but we’re also hearing about problems in neighborhoods that weren’t heavily impacted by the storm including Flatbush, Park Slope and parts of Manhattan. Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams, who has been touring the polling sites in the East Flatbush and Flatbush portions of his district described the situation as “complete disorganization” and had harsh words for the city Board of Elections. Politicker

College students being turned away in Philly

Peck on Nov 6, 2012 at 7:35 pm

7:35 pm
College students being turned away in Philly
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Two Temple University students from Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group who are stationed at a polling location at 16th Street and Berks in Philadelphia told ThinkProgress that as many as 70 of their fellow classmates have been forced to vote on provisional ballots after a flood of last minute registrations failed to end up in the state’s voter rolls.Think Progress

Unsettling Questions About Voting Machines In Ohio

As America heads to the polls to elect the next president, stories are circulating about, and a lawsuit has been filed over, a last-minute software patch apparently being installed on voting tabulation machines in Ohio, as described in a secret contract between Ohio’s Republican secretary of state and the nation’s largest electronic voting machine manufacturer. (See this roundup and analysis of the story by Brad Friedman at Salon, which links to other key coverage of the story.ACLU

Tea Party Group Blocks Florida Voters, Stops Water Handouts at Polls

Update @5:45 pm pm ET: An independent analysis of the list of names challenged by Tampa Vote Fair’s Kimberly Kelley reveals the list is 40 percent black, which compares to 15 percent of registered voters who are black. Political scientists Daniel Smith of University of Florida and Michael Herron of Dartmouth College identified 73 people on the list using voter ID numbers in the Florida voter file. They also found just 16 percent of the voters on the list were registered as Republicans, compared to 33 percent of county voters. “We’re essentially seeing the privitzation of voter suppression,” says Smith, “and that should be highly disconcerting. Now we have private citizens through this organization Tampa Vote Fair doing their own data mining and matching and challenging potential citizens at the polls.”The Nation

Christian Right Election Violations in Pittsburgh

My colleague Rachel Tabachnick has documented a flagrant example of Christian right electioneering at Pittsburgh polling place. As you’ll see from the cell phone pics below. What is different about this episode is not only how flagrant it is, but that Rachel had the presence of mind to document the episode and to get it reported to election officials.

This, folks, is how to get it done.Daily Kos

Voter Finds Another Romney-Loving Machine in Pennsylvania

County officials have found another Romney-loving robot: A faulty electronic voting machine in Union County, Pennsylvania, has been recalibrated and put back online after it wouldn’t allow a vote for President Obama, Mother Jones has confirmed.

Earlier today, MJ reported on another incident this morning in Perry County, Pennsylvania, in which a voting computer’s touchscreen ballot converted all Obama votes into votes for Romney. The second machine came to light after a local college professor found he couldn’t cast his vote for Obama on it.

“I spoke with a poll worker there and saw her fold up the machine. I also called [a national wattchdog hotline] to report the incident,” said Andy Hirsch, director of media communications at Bucknell University, who posted a video of the machine’s malfunction on Vimeo after it failed to record his ballot choices.

John Showers, chairman of the board of elections for Union County, confirmed that there was a problem with the calibration of the machine; the problem has since been fixed, and the machine has been returned to service. He said: “In general, there’s a calibration issue with one machine in each election here, so we had this one, and it was taken care of,” he said.Mother Jones

PENNSYLVANIA 5 Signs at Pa. Polling Place: “NO PARKING FOR DEMOCRATS

Early this afternoon in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, there were five signs in place aimed at stopping Democrats from parking near a polling station, according to Pennsylvania voters Erica Gust and Lori Marks. One read: “NO PARKING FOR DEMOCRATS – WALK THAT WILL BE THE MOST WORK YOU DO ALL DAY.” The signs were mounted on barricades—one directly in front of the polling place entrance. Mother Jones

MISSISSIPPI NAACP accuses Mississippi country clerk of failing to process thousands of voter registrations

Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson announced at a press conference Tuesday morning that an unknown number of voter registrations have gone missing in Hinds County, Mississippi, and urged voters to cast what is known as an affidavit ballot if they arrive at the polls and find that they are not listed. According to the Jackson Free Press, Johnson made the announcement at a press event promoting the NAACP’s Mississippi voter help line, a service designed to help voters fight irregularities and suspected wrongdoing at the polls.

Recently, the NAACP held a massive voter registration drive, which added some 10,000 new voters to Hinds County registers, but as of Friday, many of the names were not yet listed in the voter registration database. Raw Story

In Key Florida Battleground, Tea Party-Linked “True the Vote” Challenges Voters at the Polls

http://www.democracynow.org/embed/story/2012/11/6/in_key_florida_battleground_tea_party

Election Day 2012 has arrived, and the battle over voter suppression has reached a fever pitch in battleground states. We go to Virginia, where volunteers with the tea party-linked group True the Vote are challenging voters at the polls. We speak with Brentin Mock, the lead reporter for Voting Rights Watch 2012, a collaboration between The Nation magazine and Colorlines.com. Mock also describes voter suppression efforts in Florida, where True the Vote has also targeted alleged felon voters who will be asked to submit a provisional ballot if they attempt to vote today.Democracy Now

KANSAS OHIO More Electronic Voting Machines Changing Romney Votes to Obama: We Looked Into It and Here’s What a Vendor Told Us

Last week, TheBlaze brought you a story from a North Carolina voting precinct using electronic voting machines that was already experiencing issues where votes for GOP candidate Mitt Romney were being changed to Democratic candidate Barack Obama. Now, it’s allegedly happening again, this time in both Kansas and Ohio — and we talked to a vendor supporting the machines about the issue.

Nancy from Topeka, Kan., who asked that her last name not be used for reasons pertaining to her husband’s work, told TheBlaze she fears if voters aren’t double checking their selections, they’ll be “robbed of their vote.” The Blaze

Many Philadelphians must vote provisionally after names don’t appear on voter rolls

Daniel Denvir reports that many registered voters in Philly are showing up at the polls only to discover their names are not listed on the rolls even though they have voter-registration cards. Poll workers are giving them provisional ballots. These won’t be counted for as long as a week after the election.

“We think it’s a real concern,” said a staffer at The Committee of Seventy, which monitors elections in Philadelphia. Voter ID, he says, is “not the central problem in Philadelphia today: [it’s] the messy administration of this election. The phones are just ringing off the hook. We’re fielding calls about people who are not in the polling books.”

Some poll workers are not even instructing people that they can file provisional ballots, and other voters are reportedly just walking away in frustration.
Daily Kos

Evidence of Unlawful Voter Purge in Pennsylvania

The Election Protection Coalition, which is managing a voter protection hotline, says that eligible voters may have been unlawfully purged from the rolls in major urban areas of Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

“We suspect there has been an unreported purge of voters in Pennsylvania,” said Barbara Arnwine, head of the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights. There are “too many voters being affected by this for us to think it’s voter error or voter confusion,” Arnwine said.
Mother Jones

SEATTLE Democrats report break-in at Seattle headquarters

Police are investigating an overnight break-in at the Seattle office of the Washington State Democrats.

The office was the state headquarters for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign and Democratic candidate for governor Jay Inslee.

Police were called after a campaign staffer who arrived at the office early in the morning found a broken window and open door.

Raw Story

WISCONSIN Voting machine malfunction hits Pewaukee

Officials in the Village of Pewaukee will be handcounting ballots at the end of the day.

While the count is part of the normal procedure in the district, it may also be required by law because a machine malfunctioned.

A voter told the Journal Sentinel that when he voted Tuesday morning, the machine count didn’t advance after he inserted his ballot.

“I went in to vote like normal. I waited in line and filled out a ballot. I went up to the machine to slide the ballot in,” said Paul Provinzano. “I saw the number was 298. In the middle of the sound, it still said ‘298.’ I thought, ‘There’s something wrong here.’ ”
JS Online

Some Malfunctioning Machines Reported Throughout South Florida on Election Day

Broken or malfunctioning scanners adding to wait times at polling sites
By Donna Rapado, Diana Gonzalez, Ari Odzer, Julia Bagg and Christina Hernandez

While Election Day voting went fast and easy for some South Floridians, others complained of malfunctioning machines and broken scanners that left them worried their vote wouldn’t be counted.

At Chapel Trail Elementary School in Pembroke Pines, voting got off to a rough start after a scanner for one of three precincts voting there died moments after the doors opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday. Residents who had already voted handed their filled-out ballots to staffers, who placed the ballots in a bag.

“They said, ‘Just trust us, that [our unscanned ballots] will be done at the end of the night,'” Debbie White-Maynes said of election staff.

White-Maynes continued: “It doesn’t sit well with me, because it really strains the confidence I have in the voting process. It should be a smoother process, and we should be made to feel confident that our vote is going to count.” Channel 6 South Florida

Voters Flock to Polls; Record-Setting Turnout Predicted

While Election Day voting went fast and easy for some South Floridians, others complained of malfunctioning machines and broken scanners that left them worried their vote wouldn’t be counted.

At Chapel Trail Elementary School in Pembroke Pines, voting got off to a rough start after a scanner for one of three precincts voting there died moments after the doors opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday. Residents who had already voted handed their filled-out ballots to staffers, who placed the ballots in a bag.

WISCONSIN Long lines, some voting problems surface early at polls

Election day is 5 hours old, and it has not been without problems and long lines.

Consider the lone voting machine at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School on the north side. It was down for about half an hour, causing some voters to leave in frustration before they cast their ballots. Bystanders outside urged them to go back in.

The problem was exacerbated by big crowds – one poll watcher said 500 voters had come through the doors by 9 a.m.

But a broken machine doesn’t mean voting was on hold, according to Bruce Landgraf, an assistant prosecutor who is overseeing the voter integrity hotline at the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office. People could place their ballots in a bin beside the machine to be fed into it once it was fixed. Some voters did not want to do that, however, and chose to wait and witness their votes being counted.JS Online

This is no joke — hundreds of Pinellas County voters told Election Day is tomorrow by SOE office

FLORIDA ST. PETERSBURG – An hour after polls opened today, the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Office mistakenly placed hundreds – possibly thousands – of automatic calls to voters instructing them that they had until 7 p.m. tomorrow to vote.

Polls actually close at 7 p.m. today. Any ballots turned in after that time won’t be accepted.

The calls went out between 8 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. because of a glitch with the SOE’s phone system. Calls were made Monday alerting voters who had requested mail ballots but had not returned them that they had until 7 p.m. “tomorrow” to get them turned in.

About 12,000 calls, however, didn’t get through, said SOE spokeswoman Nancy Whitlock. They were stored in a queue and recycled this morning. The “tomorrow” in the message meant for Monday was incorrect when it was delivered today. The Buzz

Bob Fitrakis reports on a filing at the Federal District Court in Columbus, Ohio – 11 am, election day, 2012

This is a follow up of Bob’s investigation of Hart Intercivic voting machines placed in Hamilton County, Ohio that are tied to investments by the Romney family.

UPDATEBreaking News: Judge denies request to stop illegal software patches
by Free Press staff
BREAKING NEWS: 1:30 p.m. Judge Frost denied the Temporary Restraining Order brought forth in Ohio’s federal court to stop the software patches from being used on voting machines in Ohio. Plaintiff Bob Fitrakis and attorneys are now in state Common Pleas Court for 2:00pm hearing on same issue — the untested, uncertified “experimental” software placed as a pilot program on voting machines.Columbus Dispatch

OHIO – Longtime resident scrubbed from vote rolls

Updated at 1:39 p.m.

West Side resident Tim Latta has voted for 14 years at the same precinct, at the Franklin County engineer’s office on Fisher Road.

When he walked in to vote this morning, poll workers recognized Latta and greeted him.

Then, they puzzlingly couldn’t find his name on the roster of voters. He had to cast a provisional ballot.

When the 40-year-old high school counselor got back home, he called the Franklin County Board of Elections. They reported he was registered to vote — in Summit County.

“I’ve been to Summit County several times, but I’ve never lived there,” he said. Latta then called elections officials in Akron, but they reported he did not appear on their voter registration rolls. He ended his morning with a call to the secretary of state’s office.Columbus Dispatch – Ohio

OHIO – True The Vote Barred From Ohio Polling Stations

The right-wing group True The Vote has been prohibited from monitoring elections in voting stations around Columbus, Ohio, and may soon find itself under investigation for fraud, the Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday.

The Houston-based group, which is dedicated to challenging the legitimacy of voters it considers suspect, had its status as an official vote monitor denied in Franklin County, after the necessary number of candidates to assign poll observers withdrew their support for the group, according to the Dispatch.

Elections officials in Franklin County told the paper that some of application forms requesting observer status for the group’s Ohio branch, the Voter Integrity Project, appeared to have supporting names that were falsified or forged.<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/06/true-the-vote-ohio_n_2082362.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

huffington Post

Pennsylvania – Voters report problems with long lines, confusion over voter ID law

There were reports of problems with long voting lines, partisans handing out literature and confusion with the voter ID law across the state as voters headed to the polls on Election Day Tuesday.

An Allegheny County judge issued an order to halt electioneering outside a polling location in Homestead.

County officials received a complaint shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday that Republicans outside a polling location on Maple Street in Homestead were stopping people outside the polls and asking for identification.

Trublive

Iowa question of vote machine number

Apanoose Co, IOWA – Our own Edward True observes two numbers on his voting machine, one for the number of scanned ballots, and the other (read approx 900) for…we’re not sure what that number indicates. Poll workers tell him it’s the “lifetime counter”. Assuming that to mean the number reflects the total number of voters on that machine in every election it has been in use. Edward is told by the IOWA SOS office that the number *might* be the precinct number. But it’s not. We are not sure what to make of this one / but will continue to follow up…

Election Fraud Video Central Pennsylvania

Posted today on You Tube. It is what it is. No further verification of authenticity other than the posters comment.

UPDATE

Machine turns vote for Obama into one for Romney – MSNBC-PoliticsNation
Zachary Roth
12:52 pm on 11/06/2012

A man casts his ballot using an electronic voting machine November 6, 2012 at an elementary school in Bowling Green, Ohio. (Photo by J.D. Pooley/Getty Images)

A Pennsylvania electronic voting machine has been taken out of service after being captured on video changing a vote for President Obama into one for Mitt Romney, NBC News has confirmed. MSNBC Update

My wife and I went to the voting booths this morning before work. There were 4 older ladies running the show and 3 voting booths that are similar to a science fair project in how they fold up. They had an oval VOTE logo on top center and a cartridge slot on the left that the volunteers used to start your ballot.

I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney’s name and started tapping very closely together to find the ‘active areas’. From the top of Romney’s button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama’s name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein’s button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.

I asked the voters on either side of me if they had any problems and they reported they did not. I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said “It’s nothing to worry about, everything will be OK.” and went back to what she was doing. I then recorded this video.

There is a lot of speculation that the footage is edited. I’m not a video guy, but if it’s possible to prove whether a video has been altered or not, I will GLADLY provide the raw footage to anyone who is willing to do so. The jumping frames are a result of the shitty camera app on my Android phone, nothing more.

Polling Woes Emerge in Key States; Watchdogs Report “Thousands” of Calls

People all over the country are having trouble exercising their right to vote, the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights said Tuesday morning.

“We are seeing a manifestation of a new Jim Crow in America…I don’t think that’s an overstatement,” said Wade Henderson, who runs the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (a different group from the Lawyer’s Committee). “You are seeing lines longer than those in Baghdad or Kabul.Mother Jones “Thousands of Calls”

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One thought on “ELECTION LINES "We have got to fix that."

  1. Pingback: ELECTION LINES “We have got to fix that.” | Occupy Wall Street Info

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