Electronic vote fraud
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Although electronic voting can help make election administration more efficient, it has also presented challenges including software failures and a vulnerability to fraud.
Types of electronic fraud
One type of electronic voting fraud is when incorrect programming causes machines to skip several thousand partyline 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.
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 certian candidates in a election.
Moreover, there has been challenges in races across the nation in which a bad chip” or "a faulty memory card," but defective chips and bad memory cards have very different symptoms. They don’t function at all, or they spit out nonsensical data. This has been another contributor to electronic voting fraud.
- Clay County, Kentucky: Eight residents of Clay County are under federal indictment for vote fraud, including tampering with electronic votes. The cases are being tried in Frankfurt, Kentucky. Those charged include circuit court judge R. Cletus Maricle, county clerk Freddy Thompson, and former school superintendent Douglas Adams. The 10-count indictment accuses 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. 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. 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. 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.
- November 2003-A MicroVote machine in Boone County counted over 100,000 ballots despite there were only 5,000 total ballots being casted in the small Indiana county.
- November 2002-In Texas, Scurry County poll workers got 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 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.
- 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.
- November 1998-In a election in Salt Lake City, 1,413 votes never showed up
in the total. This was attributed to a programming error caused a batch of ballots not to count, though they had been run through the machine like all theother races. When the 1,413 missing votes were counted this resulted in a reversal on who won or lost certian races.
- December 1997-In Akron, OH in a County Board Election in Portage County had Ed Repp the winner of the election until a programming error was discovered that rendered 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.
- November 1986-Georgia had one of the first electronic voting machines and the wrong candidate was declared the winner in Georgia. Incumbent Democrat Donn Peevy was running for State Senate in District 48 as the electronic machines said he lost the election. After an investigation revealed that a Republican elections official had kept uncounted ballots in the trunk of his car, officials also admitted that a computerized voting program had miscounted. 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 explain," said the State Senator after the apparent victory.