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Bev Harris: Hear The Train A'comin'

Latest Voting Rumbles: Hear The Train A'comin', Comin' Round The Bend...

By Bev Harris, Black Box Voting
June 6, 2006

We ain't seen the sunshine since, we don' know when We're stuck in Blackbox prison, this ain't democracy But that train keeps a rollin´, over you and me.


(But first: Check this out - Diebold employee secretly involved in election reform attack Website: )

NEW: Machine records vote for wrong candidate in Iowa - A Drake University law professor, Neil Hamilton, reported confusion with the new touch-screen voting machines, which are designed to help voters with disabilities who can't use a pen to fill in the ballot ovals.

Hamilton, who voted in Dallas County, said the electronic print-out of his vote showed a different candidate than the name he’d touched on the screen.

“I went and told the officials, ‘You’ve got a problem. This isn’t who I voted for,’” he said.

Election officials marked two of Hamilton’s ballots as spoiled before he was sure his third ballot had been tallied correctly.

Officials in the Dallas County auditor’s office could not be immediately reached for comment, but Polk County Auditor Michael Mauro said he’d heard a couple similar reports from around the area.

“They think the voting machine’s broke. They’re not,” Mauro said. “Let’s put this to bed right now. It’s a marking device, it doesn’t count any type of ballot. They’re not voting machines at all. Think of the marking device as an electronic pencil. All you do is turn off the marking device and use the regular pencil.”

* * * * *

Turnout light frustration heavy in Warren County Mississippi - Turnout light; frustration heavy...Frustration was clear at the American Legion box. That precinct had six of the new machines but none was working for the first 25 minutes polls were open, and at least 10 voters were delayed. “They're not working at all,” manager Marilyn Patterson said. “We're having problems.”

Voters were offered the chance to cast affidavit ballots or to return later in the day.

One poll worker summed it up like this: “If this election isn't thrown out, I'll eat my hat.”

* * * * *

Voters told to return later in Alabama - All but one promised to do so. Some problems were reported at the polls in Lee County early Tuesday morning. Voters were told they couldn't enter the Loachapoka precinct because of problems with the machines. Lee County Probate Judge Bill English said there was a mix up with voting machines between the Loachapoka polling place and Farmville. But it was all straightened out about an hour later. We're told all of the voters except one made plans to return later.

* * * * *

Voting machines stolen in Alabama: Voting was delayed at Mount Andrew after two voting machines were reportedly stolen...Williams added they have no leads on who might have stolen the machines.

* * * * *

Voting machines down 5 hours in 2 Mississippi counties Blount said all voters in the two counties cast their votes on paper ballots while the machines were down.

While the new machines had their most serious trials in Leflore and Jackson, other problems — ranging from computer problems to human failings — are being reported across the state.

Blount said problems with the new system are to be expected.

Hancock County Democratic Party chairman Chuck Tolar said a printer error has shut down many of the machines across the county.

“At least one machine per precinct is up and going,” he said. Tolar said he is unimpressed so far with the Diebold machines.

“If you ask me these machines are kind of fragile,” he said.

...Voting was delayed across Madison County when poll workers found they had not been given the keys to unlock the Diebold machines.

“The keys were not in the little bag with everything else that we were supposed to have,” Madison County Democratic chairman Rob Martin said. “If you don’t have the keys, you can’t use the machines.”

[Well, the keys we saw in Emery County Utah were all the same and of a generic variety you can buy at the local hardware store. Perhaps they should add that to the pollworker's manual just in case of emergency.]

* * * * *

Rock slides threaten voting machine power in California Crews relocated power lines threatened by a huge rock slide near Yosemite National Park, creating a slight snafu in today's election. Mariposa County elections officials kept the polls open downstairs at the school, but the voting machines only had limited power and one backup battery. Officials kept paper ballots on hand in case the machines went dark.

* * * * *

Funnel clouds threaten voting machine use in Iowa - A burst of storms this afternoon prompted the Johnson County auditor to advise the temporary closing of polling places for today's primary election.

...Slockett advised poll workers to suspend voting and take shelter late this afternoon as storms rolled through the area, spawning funnel clouds but no tornadoes and no serious damage.

Slockett said the poll closing was unprecedented in his experience.

“I’ve never experienced them closing before,” he said.

Slockett said he had not heard of any problems caused by the storm to the county’s new electronic voting machines.

* * * * *

Kern County California Diebold system gets airborne rescue: Kern County Voting Snafu Early word is that voting machines in some parts of Kern County weren't ready for the voters this morning... forcing an airborne 11th hour fix in some rural areas.

... Some of Kern's electronic touchscreen machines didn't have voting access cards that had been properly programmed..."The problem was resolved quickly in Bakersfield, but Kern County is huge and has some towns as far as 2.5 hours away...they had to use sheriff's department helicopters to fly the reprogrammed cards out to some of these areas. Apparently, the issue was largely resolved by mid-morning."

* * * * *


Voting machine marks wrong candidate

Turnout light, frustration heavy in Warren County MS

Voters told to return later in Alabama

Voting machines stolen in Alabama

Voting machines down 5 hours in Leflore, Jackson counties

and LeFlore County problems

Rock slides threaten voting machine power

Funnel clouds threaten voting machine use in Iowa

Kern County California Diebold system gets airborne rescue

* * * * *


Black Box Voting is a nonprofit, nonpartisan election watchddog group supported entirely by citizen donations. To donate, go to or mail to: Black Box Voting 330 SW 43rd St Suite K PMB 547 Renton WA 98055

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