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ES&S Touch-Screen Votes Now Flipping in TX Too!

Blogged by Brad Friedman on 10/24/2008 5:04PM

ES&S Touch-Screen Votes Now Flipping in TX Too! Obama/DNC Attorneys Still AWOL!

State After State, ES&S iVotronics Are Flipping Democratic Votes to Republican!
What You Can Do About It, And Where the Hell Are Those 'Thousands' of Obama/DNC Attorneys?...

This is just getting worse and worse. Now it's happening in Texas. (And in MO, if you read to the end of the article). And the vaunted "thousands of attorneys" from the Obama campaign and the DNC are still nowhere to be found.

With every incident so far reported of touch-screen vote-flipping during early voting in this year's general election --- from county to county in WV and in Nashville, TN) --- it's been the ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machine that has failed, flipping votes from one candidate to another not chosen by the voter. In every instance [see update below], it's been an attempted Democratic vote, flipped to a Republican, or another party.

These are the same machines that lost 18,000 votes in Democratic-leaning Sarasota County in the 2006 U.S. House Race for Katherine Harris' old seat. The Democrat, Christine Jennings, was declared the loser to Republican Vern Buchanan (whose own wife had trouble voting for him that day), by just 369 votes. Several academic studies, and even the GAO, have been unable to rule out either tampering or hardware/software error for the disappeared 18,000 votes.

As we wrote earlier this week, after there was finally one report of a vote flipping from Democratic to Republican in TN (a very rare instance, btw), these machines need to be taken out of service now, impounded and quarantined immediately, and every voter needs to be given a paper ballot where these machines are currently being used. Voters who have such problems need to inform other voters waiting in line which machine should not be used (and we offer other tips below, as well).

[Update: The rare vote-flip from Republican to Democratic now seems to have been a hoax carried out by local Republicans, according to a TN election integrity activist who did some digging and reporting. Details here...]

The latest reports today of ES&S vote-flipping come from Palo Pinto County, TX, where two voters --- one of them an alternate election judge and office manager of the Palo Pinto County Democratic Headquarters --- saw straight-ticket Democratic votes flipped to straight-ticket Republican votes. Two times for the first person, and three times for the alternate election judge!

The report is a doozy...

At least two Palo Pinto County residents say they experienced early voting problems when the touch-screen voting machines they used kept switching their straight-party vote from Democratic to Republican.

"When I cast an early vote [Wednesday] at Palo Pinto County Courthouse, my vote was switched from Democrat to Republican right in front of my face - twice!" reported Lona Jones, a Precinct 1 county resident.

Intending to vote straight party on the Democratic ticket, Jones said she was surprised Wednesday when the electronic voting machine "on the left as you face the machines" in the courthouse basement asked her if she wanted to cast her vote for a straight Republican ticket.

Thinking she had pushed the wrong button the first time the machine "came up Republican," Jones said she repeated her intended straight-party vote.

"The second time I was sure to just touch the Democratic button," she said, further reporting that the machine responded to her selection, "'Do you want to change your Republican straight ticket vote to a Democratic vote?' I pressed, 'Yes,' then it came back up and it was a total Republican ticket again."

We've cautioned many times here at The BRAD BLOG, of the dangers of voting straight-party tickets, particularly in TX, where election officials have ">reportedly been giving disinformation to voters, but everywhere else that they allow it as well. Vote for each candidate, NOT straight-party!

But whether it's a straight-party vote or not, no voter should ever cast a vote on a touch-screen machine unless they are forced to. There is absolutely no way that any vote ever cast on a touch-screen machine --- with or without a so-called paper trail --- can ever be shown as having been recorded accurately.

None. Zero. Scientifically impossible. Or if it isn't a scientific impossibility, our many months of asking for evidence, from anyone, of such a vote having been accurately recorded by a touch-screen/DRE has yielded precisely no such evidence. And we've asked voting machine companies, election officials, and so-called "election experts" time and again, and none have been able to offer anysuch evidence. Ever.

So what do you do about it when your vote flips? Other than demanding a paper ballot, and demanding these machines be confiscated and quarantined immediately?

The article goes on to notes a very good point...

"One of the ladies told me, 'These machines don't work well' and, 'These machines give us problems.' I told her I not only didn't want to use that machine, [indicating the problematic first machine], I didn't want anyone using that machine."

Yesterday, election integrity experts Emily Levy from' and Kevin Zeese from suggested that when this problem occurs, voters should first tell officials, and ask them to remove the machine from service.

Then...Alert everyone else in line waiting to vote which machine caused the problem, and warn everyone else not to use it!

These are among the steps recommended, with which I strongly concur:

• Call poll supervisors to observe the problem
• Fill out a problem report
• Refuse to vote on that machine
• Request that the machine be taken out of service
• Get a serial number of the machine if possible (may be unlikely in many cases)
Tell other voters not to vote on that machine
• Call county/town election office
• Call local reporters
• Call voter problem hotlines (eg. 866-MYVOTE1 and 866-OUR-VOTE)
• Contact bloggers and Election Integrity websites.
• Raise holy hell.

VR has more details here on what to do if you see your vote flip. [Disclosure: The BRAD BLOG is a co-founder of]

Also, before you go to vote, bring a video camera (a cell phone video camera will do), to document the vote-flipping when you vote, and then upload it to and YouTube, etc.!

Unfortunately, Lona Jones --- who did contact our associates at with the problem earlier this morning (they instructed her to contact the media, which she did, leading to the report we're quoting here) --- was not the only one to have the same problem, with the same failed ES&S iVotronic touch-screens, in Palo Pinto:

Teresa Crosier, an alternate election judge and office manager of the Palo Pinto County Democratic Headquarters, called Jones to remind her to vote early.

"She told me she had already voted and had problems," said Crosier. "She told me her story and I told her I had the same problem Wednesday morning."

Like Jones, Crosier tried to cast a straight party Democratic vote at the courthouse annex, "and it came up straight party, Republican party."

Crosier recognized her election trainer, who was helping to monitor the polls, and called him over. "We went back through the process and it did it again," she said of the third time the touch-screen machine suggested she vote Republican.

This has got to stop. Paging Barack Obama, the DNC and the "thousands of attorneys" we've been told for months that they "have on the ground, ready to move in as soon as any problems are reported."

Are your pagers not on yet?! What are you waiting for? Concession Day on November 5th?

Oh...and this just in from an Election Integrity advocate in swing state MO:

Hi Brad,

Just wanted to let you know that Missourians for Honest Elections is in the process of confirming five separate reports of vote flipping --- from Democrat to Republican --- on the iVotronic machines that are the only means the Board of Elections is providing for in-person absentee voting at its headquarters in Maplewood [St. Louis County, MO].
--Cynthia Richards

We'll try to offer more details on the problems in MO when we get them. No doubt, thousands of Obama/DNC attorneys are on their way...


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