On Today’s Agenda: BORKED

September 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Fair Elections, Recent Blog Posts

Oliver Hardy & Stan Laurel

A Fine Mess

According to the dictionary for geeks, something is “borked” when it doesn’t work correctly or misbehaves, generally due to negligence by the person(s) that are responsible for it.

So just how borked are Elections In Davidson County? Well, we’ll know this afternoon [pdf] after the Davidson County Election Commission meeting.

See, after deciding last week to NOT use the problematic Electronic Poll Books in the November Election, it came to our attention that the Davidson County Election Commission (DCEC) will meet again today to reconsider using the malfunctioning machines.

If the DCEC decides to reinstate the EPBs in November then we will be left scratching our heads and wondering why? As the world’s leading democracy, we can’t use machines that deny some residents the opportunity to participate equally in our democratic process.

The EPBs not only gave us fits by defaulting to the Republican ballot during the primary in August, but they also malfunctioned when scanning IDs by either not finding a voter or finding the wrong voter. And in split precincts (precincts that serve voters from two different state House districts) married couples, roommates and others were issued different ballots even though they lived in the same house!

And if, as the DCEC would like us to believe, that the problem lies solely with the poll workers, can they guarantee that they will have thoroughly trained all the poll workers to use the EPBs in all 160 precincts come November?

Last but not least, who decided to use ES&S, a vendor whose products have been tainted for at least a decade?

  • 2002 FLORIDA: Over 100,000 votes not counted in Miami-Dade area.
  • 2003 ILLINOIS: Programming glitch causes incorrect results.
  • 2004 FLORIDA: ES&S machines in Orange County started counting backwards once it reached its voting capacity.
  • 2006 FLORIDA: ES&S voting machines blamed for loss of 18,000 votes and affected the outcome of an election in the Buchanan vs. Jennings race for Florida’s 13th Congressional District
  • 2007 PENNSYLVANIA: A research team from University of Pennsylvania conducted a security assessment of ES&S using Project EVEREST guidelines. The team found “numerous exploitable vulnerabilities in nearly every component of the ES&S system. These vulnerabilities enable attacks that could alter or forge precinct results, install corrupt firmware, and erase audit records.”
  • 2011 OHIO: Machines malfunction in Cuyahoga County and fail pre-elections test. U.S. Election Assistance Commission launched an investigation and found multiple issues.

The bottom line is, DCEC is set to change its mind on EPBs – but hasn’t changed ways. The defective EPBs and dodges by the DCEC have caused the people of Davidson County to lose faith in the way elections are run. We never had these problems before with poll books, training issues, administrator blaming others and dodging questions. We must STOP, GO BACK (to the way elections were run in the past) & AUDIT before we move forward.


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5 Responses to “On Today’s Agenda: BORKED”
  1. Penny Harriington, former Democratic Election Commissioner says:

    The members of the Election Commission are chosen by their party’s caucus in the General Assembly. So if you really want to have influence with them address your concerns to the Republican members of the legislature for Davidson County. Speaker Harwell would have great influence if she wanted to. For certain the candidates for the General Assembly should be required to commit on this issue.

  2. Georgianna Russell says:

    Please, let’s not have a fouled up election. Use the ones that give a reliable result that won’t have to be redone.

  3. Marjorie Lewis says:

    I was very surprised to find that our Davidson election commission was reconsidering approving the use of the electronic pads for the November election. I was even more surprised to see the trail of malfunction in their use the last several years. As an election day worker for 11 years, including two early voting periods, I can say that I always basically had faith in what we were using. However, with the onslaught of Republican tactics this year in various states to depress the Democratic vote, in addition to the problems the program has experienced, we should not accept any new decision to use the program.


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  1. […] by TN Press Release Center on September 14, 2012 Newsletter from Tennessee Citizen Action; September 13, 2012:  […]

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