As early voting has started in states across the country, electronic voting machine problems are already being widely reported. For instance, machines in apparently Arkansas, Florida, and Texas have flipped votes; voters attempted to select a particular candidate, but the machine incorrectly indicated a vote for the opponent. The Chicago Sun-Times reports that this problem and a host of others occurring in Illinois. Meanwhile, five counties in Florida report that their machines are mistakenly set to stop recording votes one hour prior to the end of election day.
And that's just a few of the stories we're hearing. Sometimes, machine glitches can be identified and addressed before they cause any votes to be lost or incorrectly recorded. Unfortunately, election workers remain woefully under-trained regarding potential e-voting problems.
Case in point: election officials in Ohio reportedly used e-voting memory cards in ordinary laptops, exposing them to possible security threats. We hope no harm comes of this particular mistake, but, when it comes to the next e-voting impropriety, voters might not be so lucky.
All of these problems underline, once again, why a voter verifiable paper trail is necessary.
We'll continue to keep you posted on e-voting problems throughout Election 2006.
(Hat tip: VotersUnite.org, which provided links to the news reports in this post.)