UPDATE: Voting Machines Reported Flipping in Early Elections

October 31, 2014 by Marianne Moonhouse and Barbara With

Last week, Wisconsin Citizen Media Coop (WCMC) responded to Craig Gilbert’s October 18 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article regarding Wisconsin’s dramatic voting swings. In it, he mentions Clark County, Wisconsin as one district that showed big swings in voting patterns.

Clark and Taylor Counties are the only two in Wisconsin that have been using ES&S iVotronic touch-screen voting machines in recent elections. According to the Government Accountability Board (GAB) voting equipment database, these machines are still in use.

The chart below visually depicts the red swing that has taken place in Clark County from (right to left) the 2006 Wisconsin gubernatorial election (Columns P-Q), 2008 Presidential election (Columns M-N ), 2010 gubernatorial election—Walker’s first (Columns J-K), and 2012 Walker recall (Columns F-G)


Taylor County has shown a significant red swing since 2006 elections as well, as seen below.


The same type of machines used in these counties, ES&S iVotronics, are the ones said to be flipping “no” votes to “yes” on an abortion referendum issue in the Maury County Tennessee elections last week.

Election analyst Brad Friedman reported on October 24, 2014, “The systems reportedly flipping votes in Maury County, TN are the infamous iVotronics made by ES&S, the nation’s largest voting machine manufacturer and the one with, perhaps, the longest and most spectacular history of election failures in the U.S. … though the ES&S iVotronics were said have ‘worked to perfection’ during testing and early voting, a number of election outcomes in the 2008 local primaries had to be reversed after it was discovered the internal numbers didn’t match with the systems’ ‘paper trails.'”

Since the Maury County incidents, ES&S iVotronic vote-flipping has also been reported in three Arkansas counties, and blamed on “calibration problems.”

ESS&S iVotronics voting machine. Photo: Popular Mechanics

Brad Friedman states electronic voting machine systems are “at their most sensitive to corruption and malfeasance when they are programmed and in “Election Mode”. He states that whether on-screen vote-flipping is due to screen calibration gone bad or not, machines should not be recalibrated during an election. If a machine malfunctions it should be taken out of commission.  He also cautions that flipped votes appearing on screens may not be due to malicious programming but faulty machines. A hacker would not want their flipping to be visible in this manner, and vote manipulation takes place internally.

Wisconsin uses not only the ES&S iVotronic touchscreen voting machine, but also the AVC (aka Sequoya) EDGE II (which we reported on last week), and the Premier AccuVote TSX. ALL of these machines have a long history of problems.

In the past week there have been reports of Sequoya and Diebold touchscreen voting machine malfunctions in Collin County, Texas, and Cook County, Illinois, and multiple incidents of flipped votes were also reported in nine Maryland counties.



*** Try to capture the incorrectly recorded vote with your cell phone camera.

*** Call the election supervisor over to observe the problem.

*** Refuse to vote on that machine.

*** Insist your clerk file a report and enter your incident on the Inspector’s Report, GAB Form 104. If your incident is not filed here, it “did not happen”. http://gab.wi.gov/forms/gab-104

*** If your ballot is rejected by an optical scanning machine, or a touch-screen machine shows you voted for a candidate other than the one you intended, OR, if you witness a machine malfunction on election day, call Wisconsin Election Protection, 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683), or tweet @EPWisco. NOTE: if it’s a minor voting machine problem (like a paper jam) they encourage people to first ask the Chief Inspector (clerk usually) the status and if it is being fixed; some of those issues can be quickly resolved.

*** Report the incident to the County Clerk’s office, Wisconsin GAB, reporters and news sources, facebook groups such as WI Citizens for Election Protection and Occupy Rigged Elections, and to bloggers and Election Integrity websites.

*** Avoid this problem altogether by asking for and voting on a hand-marked paper ballot.

If they steal our vote, they steal our voice and our power. Stand up and help change election systems in Wisconsin. This is not an issue of “left” vs “right.” It’s “right” vs “wrong.”

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