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Stein recount campaign demands PA protect right to paper ballots, decertify unverifiable voting machines

Jill Stein for President Recount Team
Contact: Dave Schwab 518.610.2708

PHILADELPHIA - Jill Stein and the 2016 recount team announced today that they have served notice to the state of Pennsylvania that the ES&S ExpressVote XL voting machine, recently recertified by the state, violates the terms of the settlement agreement in Stein v. Cortés. This 2018 settlement of the Stein recount lawsuit guarantees all Pennsylvania voters the right to voter-verifiable, auditable paper ballots by the 2020 election. Against public outcry and expert warnings, Philadelphia County has decided to purchase ExpressVote XL machines for use by all voters. The state has 30 days to respond, after which the plaintiffs can ask the federal court that brokered the agreement to enforce it.

“The ES&S ExpressVote XL violates our agreement in several ways and should never have been certified,” said Stein. “Instead of paper ballots, they use ‘summary cards’ that are difficult for voters to verify, research shows. Even if voters do verify the written text, what counts as your vote is not the text but printed barcodes, making it impossible to verify your actual vote. The state of Colorado recently banned barcodes for counting votes for the common-sense reason that humans can’t read barcodes. Even more troubling, these machines can be programmed to change your ballot after you submit it, meaning there’s no reliable paper record and no way to verify the election results through auditing.”

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11,000 Votes May Be Missing in Florida Congressional Race

November 13, 2018 | Truthout

Counties across Florida are currently under intense pressure and scrutiny as they race to complete the unprecedented task of three simultaneous statewide recounts. According to a schedule provided to Truthout by the Florida Fair Elections Coalition (FFEC), the deadline for finishing machine recounts and submitting those second unofficial results is Thursday, November 15, at 3 pm. Races that are close enough to require what is being described as a “manual” recount — where a limited number of ballots are counted by hand — must submit official returns Friday, November 16, by noon. Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher has already stated that her county will be unable to meet the deadline, calling it “impossible.” The statewide races where recounts are required are for governor, agricultural commissioner and Senate, where current Gov. Rick Scott maintains a razor-thin lead of 12,562 votes in his attempt to take a Senate seat away from his rival Democrat incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson. That lead is now less than the mysterious 25,000 undervote that was reported previously in the race.

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Voting Problems Surface as Americans Go to the Polls

November 6, 2018 | New York Times

From closed polling sites to malfunctioning machines, Election Day brought frustration for some voters in contests shadowed by questions about the security and fairness of the electoral system.

In Gwinnett County, Ga., four precincts — out of 156 — suffered prolonged technical delays, while some voting machines in South Carolina lacked power or the devices needed to activate them. There was also some confusion in Allegheny County, Pa., which includes Pittsburgh, where at least four polling places were changed in the last two days.

Voters who went to a polling place in Chandler, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb, found the doors locked and a legal notice announcing that the building had been closed overnight for failure to pay rent. (Officials later reopened the location.) In Houston, a worker was removed from a polling site and faced an assault charge amid a racially charged dispute with a voter, The Houston Chronicle reported.

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Election Day issues: Foreclosure, technology glitches, running out of ballots

November 6, 2018 | Arizona Republic

Computer shutdowns, printing problems and long lines plagued voters at polling stations across Maricopa County on Tuesday.

Complaints spiked around noon, with some voters saying they were turned away from multiple polling stations and forced to cast provisional ballots if they wanted to vote at all.

Election officials, who were flustered as computers systems malfunctioned and electronic backups failed, surmounted many of the issues by the afternoon. They avoided a repeat of the widespread turmoil experienced in August's primary election.

As the polls closed, complaints had ebbed. But there were still long lines at some polling stations, including one at Arizona State University in Tempe where people expected to be waiting until 11 pm. 

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NYC purged 200,000 voters in 2016. It wasn’t a mistake.

November 6, 2018 | City & State New York

In anticipation of voting in the April 19, 2016, presidential primary in New York, Kathleen Menegozzi checked her registration online. The Brooklyn resident, a registered Democrat since 2008, learned three weeks before the election that she had been struck from the rolls. Another Brooklyn Democrat, Casey James Diskin, who first joined the party in 2012, discovered five days before the primary that he was not registered at all.

In Manhattan, Michael Hubbard, a Democrat since 2015, checked his status online 17 days before planning to vote, only to find that he too was no longer registered. Meanwhile, in Queens, Benjamin Leo Gersh, who also had been a registered Democrat since 2015, checked on his voter status, and saw two weeks before the primary that he too had been purged.

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Broken machines, rejected ballots and long lines: voting problems emerge as Americans go to the polls.

November 6, 2018 | Washington Post

Civil rights groups and election officials fielded thousands of reports of voting irregularities across the country Tuesday, with voters complaining of broken machines, long lines and untrained poll workers improperly challenging Americans’ right to vote.

The loudest of those complaints came from Georgia, where issues of race, ballot access and election fairness have fueled an acrimonious governor’s contest between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp. Abrams, a former state lawmaker, would be the nation’s first black female governor, while Kemp, the secretary of state, who oversees elections, has faced accusations of trying to suppress the minority vote.

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Voting Machines: What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

November 5, 2018 | New York Review of Books

Since the 2016 election, there has been a good deal of commentary and reporting about the threats to American democracy from, on the one hand, Russian interference by Facebook and Twitterbot-distributed propaganda, and on the other, voter ID laws and other partisan voter suppression measures such as electoral roll purges. Both of these concerns are real and urgent, but there is a third, yet more sinister threat to the integrity of the November 6 elections: the vulnerability of the voting machines themselves. This potential weakness is critical because the entire system of our democracy depends on public trust—the belief that, however divided the country is and fiercely contested elections are, the result has integrity. Nothing is more insidious and corrosive than the idea that the tally of votes itself could be unreliable and exposed to fraud. 

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Double-check your ballot. Some NC voters say the machines changed their choices.

Two out of five North Carolina voters live in areas that use touchscreen voting machines. And some people have reported during early voting this year that those machines are changing their votes.

Election officials are quick to say there is no conspiracy to rig elections, nor any evidence of hacking, and that only a very small number of voters have reported having issues.

“It is not widespread,” said Pat Gannon, spokesman for the N.C. Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement, although he said the state doesn’t track the exact number of complaints. “We get a few reports about this in each election.”

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Voters report Texas voting machines changing straight-party selections

October 26, 2018 | The Hill

Some voters in Texas are reporting that some voting machines are erroneously changing straight-party selections on their ballots to include a candidate from the opposite party of their selection or not selecting a candidate at all on a section for the state's U.S. Senate race.

Local news affiliate ABC 13 reports that voters in several districts have said that when they select a button that allows voters to select all members of one party at once, it has, in some cases, chosen the opposite candidate or no candidate at all specifically in the Senate race.

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North Dakota Voter ID Law Could Keep Rural Native Americans From Voting

October 23, 2018 | WBUR

The Supreme Court declined this month to overturn a North Dakota law that requires voters to present an ID listing their residential address at the polls.

The decision could have a negative impact on tens of thousands of rural voters — many of them Native Americans who live on one of the states five reservations, where residents are not required to have a street address.

Native Americans have long faced unique challenges relating to voter suppression. They were the last to gain suffrage in 1924 and couldn't vote in states like Arizona, New Mexico and Utah until 1948.

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