Problems with Diebold's Paperless Touch-Screen Systems Reported Immediately As Polls Open This Morning...
By Winter Patriot on 7/18/2006, 12:23pm PT  

Guest blogged by Winter Patriot

According to sources in the Cynthia McKinney camp, Georgia voters attempting to vote for her in today's Democratic Primary are seeing their votes flipped to her opponent, Hank Johnson.

McKinney has a well-deserved reputation for speaking truth to power, asking tough questions, and not backing down (see this video, or read this transcript).

Diebold, on the other hand, has a history of touch-screen machines flipping votes from one candidate to another --- commonly called "vote-switching" or "vote-flipping" --- and otherwise failing altogether.

Georgia, with Maryland one of Diebold's original "showcase" states, employing the paperless version of their touch-screen system, has a history of very strange results in mid-term elections. We'll have more about all this and perhaps some updates, as time permits.

GA's Democratic Secretary of State Cathy Cox has been a longtime Diebold supporter, even appearing on their sales brochures. Cox is running for Governor this year and is, like J. Kenneth Blackwell in Ohio, overseeing the administration of her own election on these machines.

Hat tips to Joseph Cannon at Cannonfire as well as BradBloggers Jason, Laura and Chris.

Will somebody please call the cops?

UPDATE #1: Here's another brief report from Cynthia McKinney's website:

Just after the polls opened, numerous problems with Diebold electronic voting machines were noted. At one Rockdale precinct, reportedly a single Diebold machine malfunction affected the performance of the entire sequence of machines assigned to that precinct. Additionally, one machine didn't have a plug and sat idle. In addition, workers were not adequately trained on the use of the electronic pollbooks, resulting in unneccessary voter frustration.When one McKinney voter realized too late that her intended vote had been switched by the voting machine to a McKinney opponent, the polling place official's response was "she needs to let us know next time before she casts her ballot." McKinney campaign officials want to know, what about this time?

Not a half-bad question, I would say.

UPDATE #2. From Cynthia McKinney's blog:

One couple went to vote together, as they always do. When they arrived at the polling place, the Diebold electronic pollbook was in use by officials. The wife's name was in the electronic pollbook's database and she was allowed to vote. The polling officials told the husband that he had already voted. The husband, irate at hearing this news, and being told that he could not vote, contacted McKinney headquarters and Team McKinney lawyers have been dispatched to the precinct.A snake in the bush is easy to fight. But one already in the house becomes a problem!

UPDATE #3. The Atlanta Journal Constitution is on the case

McKinney Tussle Motivates VotersVoters trickling in and out of Holy Trinity Church on East Ponce de Leon Avenue, walking distance from Decatur’s downtown square, said U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney’s run-in with Capitol police prompted them to vote against her.

Anne Dishman, 37, a stay-at-home mom, voted for McKinney’s opponent in the Democratic primary, Hank Johnson.

“I don’t know a lot about him, but it is important that Cynthia is not voted back into office,” she said.

Dishman, referring to the congresswoman’s infamous tussle a few months ago, said, “Both parties should have said I am sorry and moved on. But, she made a big deal out of it.”

Dishman said she voted for Cathy Cox in the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

“I very familiar with her work, very impressed with her track record,” she said.

Lance Blair, a 36-year-old Democrat and audio engineer said one thing is clear in his mind: McKinney needs to go.

“Right or wrong, Washington has tuned McKinney out,” he said. “I understand her anger and frustrations, but there is a limit. I don’t appreciate politicians of either party being blustery.”

UPDATE #4. More email from McKinney as of 3:30pm CT:

One persistent problem with the Diebold electronic voting machines is their tendency to cast votes against the intentions of the voter. The voting day in Cynthia McKinney's primary began with voters complaining that their votes for McKinney weren't being cast for her, but instead for her opponent. Interesting, no complaints have been lodged that this is happening in reverse--that is, that the computers are registering McKinney votes intended for any one of her opponents. Team McKinney lawyers have affadavits from voters with complaints that they intended to vote for McKinney but that the machine switched their vote to one of her opponents. Other complaints involve staff insufficiently trained on the Diebold electronic pollbooks, thereby delaying voting, thus causing some people to have to leave for work. Voting times have been extended in some precincts due to official election staff admitting that they did not know how to work the machines.

Many voters were left not knowing where to go vote because the voting precinct had been changed and the voters were not aware of the change. In all, Team McKinney lawyers detailed numerous electronic voting machine malfunctions including machines breaking down in the middle of the voting process. One McKinney pollwatcher noted that at one precinct, the machine did not tally zero at the beginning of the voting day. Unexpectedly closed polling sites, combined with Tom Delay-inspired Congressional redistricting imposed on Georgia voters, electronic voting machine malfunctions--some even in the middle of the voting process--all led to a frustrating voting experience for some voters in the 2006 Primary Election held in Georgia's new Fourth Congressional District. The phrase blind faith voting comes to mind. An after-election report of all the voting irregularities reported to Cynthia McKinney for Congress will be available to various electronic voting groups and others in Georgia and around the country upon request.

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