I just got back from voting and we suffered from a “glitch”. As I was voting, my ballot started off with governor and then worked down through the list. After voting for all the politicians, up next were the issues. My first issue was State issue 1, an issue dealing with Ohio’s Worker Compensation. I was expecting to see this, but knew my vote didn’t count on it:
In most elections, ”State Issue 1” is something highly significant and its outcome closely watched. However, in Ohio today, Issue 1 doesn’t count, literally.
That’s because the issue, a referendum on changes in Ohio’s Workers Compensation law, died in a legal challenge that determined the measure lacked sufficient valid signatures on petitions to put it before the voters. But that ruling didn’t come until it was too late to remove Issue 1 from the ballot, both absentee and electronic.
So today, when you go into the voting booth, you will see Issue 1 on your ballot, even though it isn’t a valid ballot issue anymore.
So after my voting experience went smoothly, the person I went down with had her turn to cast her ballot. She had the same ballot, the same ballot (iso) card, and the same machine, but her ballot did not appear the same. Instead her ballot started out with a blank blue screen and then went onto the candidates and the state issues, but issue 1 was not on her ballot. She called the poll worker over who said that “this has been happening on some machines”. Well our polling place only has three machines and she was on the same machine as I just got done voting on, and this problem did not happen for me.
After we got done we did immediately call the Democrat hotline (1-888-DEM-VOTE) to report the problem. They connected us with a local person, who was very interested in the problem.
The most interesting thing I kept thinking of was Ken Blackwell on CNN this past weekend saying the machines do not have any problems, it was the poll workers. Well this poll worker did everything the same as she did with me (programmed the card for ballot 84), yet our ballots appeared differently. This machine was a Diebold touch screen machine, and as a programmer I can tell you that it is a definite software glitch. The poll worker did the exact same thing she did for me and all the end user variables were the same.
While this might not seem like a major problem, it is a problem all the less. Everyone must be vigilant today and make sure that any glitch, no matter how small it may seem, gets reported. While Ohio Issue 1 has been invalidated in the courts, it was still suppose to be on the ballot. Why was it removed from the ballot (on some machines) after telling people in Ohio that it would still be on the ballot, but your vote just won’t count on it? Sounds like another way to add to voter confusion.
On a more positive note, I have voted in this precinct for four years now and this was the busiest I have ever seen it. 10:00 on a rainy Tuesday morning and there was a line in this rural area.