Mayoral Candidate's Own Votes Repeatedly Flipped in County Clerk's Office --- in Front of County Clerk --- Told 'Election Must Go On, Go Get Court Order'
By Brad Friedman on 11/27/2006, 5:30pm PT  

Yes, we're as tired of writing about it as you likely are of reading about it. But as run-off elections proceed (Arkansas's is tomorrow), touch-screen votes are still flipping from one candidate to the other on ES&S's touch-screen machines during early voting. (ES&S made the touch-screen machines in FL-13, btw.)

Heber Springs, Arkansas, mayoral run-off candidate Jackie McPherson began to suspect problems when both his mother-in-law and her mom told him their attempted vote for him flipped over to McPherson's opponent during early voting. He went to the Cleburne County Clerk's office to test the problem for himself --- in front of the County Clerk, who at first told him it was not possible --- and then they were both able to watch the vote flip about 20 times in a row.

McPherson says the head of the local Elections Commission then told him "the election would have to go on," and that he "would have to get a court order to review the machines and the problem that obviously exists."

Neato, huh?

Key grafs fom McPherson's description of his vote-flipping adventure at the County Clerk's office are below. The Sun-Times full coverage is here...

And the beat goes on...

McPherson went to County Clerk Dana Guffey's Office to check out the reports for himself. "I told her what had been reported to me," he said. "She didn't think that was possible. We went to one of the two machines being used for early voting and tested it. Sure enough, when I pushed the screen in my box it showed a vote for Paul. We never finalized the vote and went through the process 20 times or so and throughout, even though I was pushing inside my vote box, votes were cast for Paul when I pushed my button.

"I pointed out that my finger was clearly in my voting box but yet the vote went to Paul. I pointed out there was daylight above my finger, between my finger and the box for Paul, but the vote went to him. Each time we went through the process I moved my finger down the screen, into my box more each time. Votes started showing for me nearly at the bottom of my voting box. She recalibrated the machine and it worked, but how many people cast votes for me and didn't realize the problem when they finalized their vote?"
McPherson contacted Election Commissioner Joe Tournear Tuesday evening. "He said the election would have to go on and I would have to get a court order to review the machines and the problem that obviously exists," McPherson said.