Today’s New York Times blog reports that early voters in West Virginia have found that e-voting machines manufactured by ES&S recorded their votes for Democratic candidates as Republican candidates. For instance, Calvin Thomas of Ripley, West Virginia explained that when he tried to vote for Senator Barack Obama, it registered the vote for Senator John McCain. He noted that his daughter had the same problem. ES&S voting machines in Tennessee reportedly have similar troubles, but in reverse: at least three voters compained that their machine registered votes for McCain as votes for Obama.
Such “vote switching” is a well-known problem and has occurred in prior elections. Indeed, a July 2007 investigative report revealed that 30 to 40 percent of ES&S’s e-voting machines under review changed voters’ selections. And Colorado’s Secretary of State decertified e-voting systems manufactured by ES&S because tests demonstrated that the machines could not accurately count votes. Now we can add another certainty in life aside from death and taxes: e-voting machine glitches.