According to Drudge and others, elections officials are apparently claiming that the discrepancy in Philadelphia was caused by people confusing the number of votes currently stored on each machine with the number of votes ever cast on the machine. The number of votes ever cast on a device is stored as what election officials refer to as the “protective counter” and a quick check confirms that the machines used in Philadelphia are required to keep this count (see e.g. Pennsylvania election law). It’s still too early to know whether this explanation will hold up, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable at first glance.
Tuesday November 02, 2004
The Drudge Report is saying that some voting machines in Philadelphia were found to have votes pre-planted on them before the polls opened. Drudge did not say whether the machines in question are electronic, but EFF documents say that Philadelphia Country uses Danaher/Shouptronic electronic machines.
(This should be treated with the usual skepticism afforded Drudge stories. But I thought readers might be interested to hear it anyway.)
UPDATE (2:15 PM): As Adam notes in a later entry, this incident now looks like a misunderstanding of the machines by some poll workers, rather than a plot to steal votes.
Monday November 01, 2004
A story in today’s New York Times alleges some pretty scary vote fraud already ocurring in swing states.
- In Pennsylvania, an official of the state Republican Party said it sent out 130,000 letters congratulating newly registered voters but that 10,000 were returned, indicating that the people had died or that the address was nonexistent.
- And in Michigan, Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land said she had to put out a statement in mid-October about where to send absentee ballots after voters in the Ann Arbor area received calls telling them to mail the ballots to the wrong address.