Electronic Voting Problems Right Here in the Capital


Avid voter that I am, I was at my local polling place before work this morning to be greeted by the usual cast of 75-year old women who were "manning" the polling station – a local church in my neighborhood. After signing in (and checking to see if husband had already voted) I was handed a paper ballot at the same time that I was told "the electronic machine has malfunctioned." Surprised, I asked why and how and I was told that when they tried to start it up they "just couldn't get it to work. They say they will send over a new machine later in the day but I don't believe it," one poll worker told me while shaking her head knowingly. I asked the name of the manufacturer and after digging through a stack of manuals that was at least 8 inches thick together we found a manual with the label "Sequoia."

I voted the paper ballot and when I tried to insert it into the digital scanner it was rejected three times! The same poll worker who was helping me before came over and promptly placed my paper ballot in what looked like the waste basket slot of the digital scanning machine. She assured me that that was the place for the ballots to be manually counted. But we both smiled.

As you might imagine, all of this caused quite the stir in my small voting station. The man in line behind me asked: "Are you a subversive or something?" I let the comment pass as I headed out the door.