Electronic vote fraud

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Electronic voting fraud occurs when the electronic system in which one is voting on computer touch screens are used to gather votes, but since it has been implemented in the late 1980's it has been prone to voting fraud and irregularities.

Although electronic voting can help make election administration more efficient, it has also presented challenges including software failures and a vulnerability to vote fraud.[1]

Types of electronic fraud

  • One type of electronic voting fraud is when incorrect programming causes machines to skip several thousand party-line votes, both Republican and Democratic. On old-fashioned, paper and optical scan ballots, voters can vote straight party depending on party preference. This one type of fraud that can be caused by incorrect programming[2].
  • Another type of electronic voting fraud is when it can be attributed to a programmer intentionally reversing the “yes” and “no” answers in the software used to count the votes or for certain candidates in a election.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag Those charged include circuit court judge R. Cletus Maricle, county clerk Freddy Thompson and former school superintendent Douglas Adams. The 10-count indictment accused the defendants of a conspiracy from March 2002 until November 2006 that included extortion, mail fraud, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to injure voters' rights and conspiracy to commit voter fraud. According to the indictment, these alleged criminal actions affected the outcome of federal, local and state primary and general elections in 2002, 2004 and 2006.[3] Specific allegations in the case are that Clay County Clerk, Freddy Thompson allegedly provided money to election officers to be distributed by the officers to buy votes, and he also instructed officers how to change votes at the voting machine.[3] Election officer William E. Stivers allegedly marked votes or issued tickets to voters who had sold their votes and changed votes at the voting machine.[3] Paul E. Bishop allegedly marked voters or issued tickets to voters who sold their votes, and he also hosted alleged meetings at his home where money was pooled together by candidates and distributed to election officers, including himself. He was also accused of instructing the officers how to change votes at the voting machine.[3]
  • November 2003: A MicroVote machine in Boone County counted over 100,000 ballots despite that there were only 5,000 total ballots being casted in the small Indiana county.[2]
  • November 2002: In Texas,Scurry County poll workers were suspicious about a landslide victory for two Republican commissioner candidates. Elections officials in Scurry County attributed and confirmed their suspicion that a “bad chip” was to blame as just before the election a new computer chip was flown in. After the known suspicion elections officials counted the votes by hand and after the recount found out that Democrats actually had won by wide margins, overturning the election.[2]
  • November 1999: In Onondaga County, NY Bob Faulkner, a political newcomer, went to bed on election night confident he had helped complete a Republican sweep of three open council seats. But after Onondaga County Board of Elections staffers rechecked the totals, Faulkner had lost to Democratic incumbent Elaine Lytel. Just a few hours later, election officials discovered that a software programming error had given too many absentee ballot votes to Lytel. Faulkner took the lead and later won the election reversing the previous decision.[2]
  • 'November 1998: In an election in Salt Lake City, 1,413 votes never showed up in the total. This was attributed to a programming error which caused a batch of ballots to not count, though they had been run through the machine like all the other races. When the 1,413 missing votes were counted, this resulted in a reversal on who won or lost certain races.[2]
  • December 1997: In Akron, OH in a County Board Election in Portage County had Ed Repp as the winner of the election until a programming error was discovered that rendered a defeat for Repp. Another error in the same election resulted in incorrect totals for the Portage County Board election also resulted in incorrect totals for measure elections, causing massive chaos and extensive electoral recounts.[2]
  • November 1986: Georgia had one of the first electronic voting machines, and the wrong candidate was declared the winner in an election in Georgia. Incumbent Democrat Donn Peevy was running for State Senate in District 48, and the electronic machines stated that he lost the election. After an investigation revealed that a Republican election official had kept uncounted ballots in the trunk of his car, officials also admitted that a computerized voting program had miscounted votes. Peevy challenged for a recount. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “When the count finished around 1 a.m., they [the elections board] walked into a room and shut the door,” recalls Peevy. “When they came out, they said, ‘Mr. Peevy, you won.’ That was it. They never apologized. They never explained," said the State Senator after the apparent victory.[2]

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See also

Ballotpedia:Index of Terms

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