Voting Machines In West Virginia Flip Votes From Obama To McCain

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Voting, West Virginia

Early voters are already reporting problems with these ridiculous machines.

From the Charleston Gazette:

WINFIELD – Three Putnam County voters say electronic voting machines changed their votes from Democrats to Republicans when they cast early ballots last week.

This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for “Barack Obama” kept flipping to “John McCain.” [...]

Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield.

“I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican,” she said. “I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.

“I asked them for a printout of my votes,” Ketchum said. “But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way.

These could just be isolated incidents, but why does it have to be difficult at all?

I wish we would simply go back to paper ballots and leave this electronic stuff in the dust.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 21st, 2008 and is filed under Voting, West Virginia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 Responses to “Voting Machines In West Virginia Flip Votes From Obama To McCain”

  1. mike mcEachran Says:

    Amen. Or at the very least, an electronic system that leaves a paper trail. That seems like a no-brainer to me.

  2. David Ortez Says:

    From the Houston Chronicle:

    “Kaufman’s office was informed early Monday that some of the first voters had cast straight-ticket Democratic ballots only to discover that the machines had recorded their presidential vote as Republican.”

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6069395.html

  3. Rich Horton Says:

    “I wish we would simply go back to paper ballots and leave this electronic stuff in the dust.”

    Agreed. Said the same thing back in 2000.

  4. Voting Machines Flipping Votes? | David Ortez Says:

    [...] Shelba Ketchum states, “I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.” [...]

  5. George Mauer Says:

    Or how about getting some competent people to design said machines? As a problem, its easier than say banking or even facebook login software. I know that the open source software guys have been wanting at the problem for hears but to the dinosaurs in charge of these things it just ‘feels wrong’.

    I want to vote via internet from my own computer. But because of stuff like this people think that for some reason electronic voting can’t be done at all. Arg.

  6. bubbles Says:

    My town does scantron-type ballots. Works very well. You put your ballot directly into the machine, which counts it. At the end of the night the town moderator presses a button and prints out the results… pretty simple. And if anyone contests it, then you just hand-count the ballots.

  7. erik sickinger Says:

    it’s stuff like this that scares the poop out of me. Really.
    It makes me really nervous.

  8. wj Says:

    There is a reason that here in the Silicon Valley we still use paper ballots. (Marked to be read electronically, for speed in counting, but manually marked.) Lots of us work with computers professionally. Which means we are all too familiar with how easy it is for them to get things wrong. Not to mention all the ways they can be programmed to say anything the programmer decides would be nice to report.

    The only people who are enthused about electronic voting are
    a) those who make money producing the machines, and
    b) those who want to appear “modern,” and know nothing about what they are talking about.

  9. Jonathan Michaels Says:

    Electronic voting shouldn’t be untrustworthy. Two simple steps: Open Source the code and give a paper receipt.

    It’s a no-brainer. What boggles the mind is the idea of having an insecure and blackbox process that no one can examine and that leaves behind no record.

  10. Jim in Dallas Says:

    Noticed that some machines in WV not crediting correct vote! The sensitive area or touch area for McCain was the entire black line around his name, Obama’s area of sensitive,only to the little black check area of box. If some one pressed on Obama’s name with a slight overlay of the finger touching the line above would credit McCain. Machines not setup correctly! The sensitive area should be the same or equal for all canidates!

  11. Johnny in Florida Says:

    Now, as a network engineer and a programmer, it is very important that all of you know that as long that there is a machine that is registering our vote, it only simply say “that anyone that knows programming or in charge of that machine can over turn all votes to who ever favor”. It is sad to know that it happens, just like it is sad to know that Bush won the election where he didn’t have a chance. If you guys don’t open your eyes, it will be McCain for next year. We need to stand and make sure our vote is correct. MACHINE RIGHT NOW IS NOT THE ANSWER. THERE SHOULD A RE_COUNT AND IT LOOKS LIKE IT IS HAPPEN MORE AND MORE. I say could luck to all and vote for the right President “WHICH IS OBAMA”

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