Sunday, October 19, 2008

Possible Voter Fraud and Vote Rigging In West Virginia

Oct. 21

Still more people in Putnam County reporting problems voting.

Charleston Gazette:

Early-voting problems in Putnam

By Paul J. Nyden
Staff writer

WINFIELD, W.Va. - Two more Putnam County voters - Martha Louise Harrington and Michael K. Koon - have come forward about problems they experienced on early-voting electronic machines at the Winfield courthouse. . .
Deputy Secretary of State Sarah Bailey said 21,194 West Virginians had already cast early votes by Friday.

"Early voting becomes more popular every year," she said. "All the voting systems [in West Virginia] are manufactured by ES&S."

Election Systems and Software, a company based in Omaha, Neb., has faced problems and controversies in other states.

In California, for example, Secretary of State Debra Brown issued a legal order on Aug. 3, 2007, banning the use of ES&S machines in any future California election. . . .

"Touch screens in Putnam County have a certain delay. If your 'x' does not pop up, and you punch it again, it goes away. There is a delay from the time you punch it to the time when your vote is recorded," Casey said.

Where's the national press? Where is the Obama Campaign? Where is the US Justice Dept?

Oct. 20

Call and e-mail these people. Tell them you are concerned about your vote and the integrity of the voting process in WV!!!
PLEASE, do it now.

WV Secretary of State Office - (304) 558-6000
e-mail - Secretary -
Elections -

WV Attorney General's Office - (304) 558-2021

Governor's Office - 1-888-438-2731

Ed. Note:

I made calls this morning to both the Secretary of State's office and the Attorney Generals office.

The attorney generals office put me in touch with the AG's chief of staff. She assured me that the AG was busy looking into the problem as we spoke and that they were very concerned with any irregularities and especially the coincidence that in both counties the mistakes strongly favored the republican side.
I hung up satisfied that they were pursuing all their options.

My call to the SOS office was a different matter. I voiced my concerns to two people who both passed me off until finally I was given a Mr. Jason Williams. Mr. Williams continued to tell me that it was only a calibration problem and that I wasn't aware of this and that and how things were done. He also let me know that the voters who registered complaint might not have known what they were doing. As I tried to calmly and logically explain to him that voters should not have to have skills to vote and that it seemed strange that the irregularities were one sided and that these development shake the foundation of people's confidence in the voting process and that I was familiar with the mechanics of touch screen machines and computer programming he continued to give me very canned answers while dismissing my comments. He then told me that they had other issues to deal with and if I had further comments I could e-mail them. click. Yup, he just hung-up on me. I was not belligerent, rude or in any way disrespectful. I simply presented myself as a voter who was concerned and scared that my vote might not count and looking for some assurances that our processes were safe. Yes, he hung up on me.

Did I mention that the Secretary of State of the State of West Virginia is a republican?

And it gets even better. I called the governor's office and asked if the governor's office was looking into the voting irregularities occurring in Jackson and Putnam Counties. The lady said "just a minute," and transferred me to another line. It rung and rung and rung and finally a voice mail message came on.

Would you feel confident voting in West Virginia?

U.S. Department of Justice and the West Virginia State Attorney Generals Office and the Secretary of States Office; please be advised that we have a serious problem here in West Virginia.
In two of West Virginia's most republican counties, voters are reporting that when they use touch screen voting machines and vote for the democratic candidate, the machine registers the republican candidate.

According to local news reports:

Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield.

"I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican," she said. "I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. . . .

"I asked them for a printout of my votes," Ketchum said. "But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way.

WTF? Asked for a paper printout and they wouldn't give it to her?! I thought that was mandatory?
Yea, I'd feel very uncomfortable too! You walk out thinking thatmaybe your vote not only didn't count, but got registered to the candidate you oppose?!?!

Where is the outrage!

"I heard from some other people they also had trouble. But no one in there knew how to fix it," said Ketchum, who is not related to Menis Ketchum, a Democratic Supreme Court candidate.

Ketchum's son, Chris, said he had the same problem. And Bobbi Oates of Scott Depot said her vote for incumbent Democratic Sen. John D. Rockefeller was switched to GOP opponent Jay Wolfe.

"I touched the one I wanted, Rockefeller, and the machine put a checkmark on the Republican instead," Oates said of her experience Thursday.

She said she caught the mistake, called over a worker in the county clerk's office and was able to correct her vote. But she worries other voters may not catch such a mistake.

How many other voters had the same thing happen but didn't notice? How in the fuck could this be going on without the federal government and the state government coming down on them like buzzards on a shit wagon?

Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood said on Saturday that he is upset there are "so many negative stories out there and not enough positive ones. We want people to vote. People need to know the facts.

"But we haven't had any major issues. We try to explain to voters how the machines work then they come in," Wood said.

Excuse me moron republican clerk mother fucker, but you have machines registering the wrong candidate when people vote and you don't think that's a "major problem?"

Wood said some voters might not realize that touch-screen voting machines may take a few seconds to record their choices.

"The reaction time [on the machines] may be different. And when you hit the screen a second time, it cancels your vote," Wood said. "When you get in a hurry, if you go to fast and hit it again, you can cancel what you just did.

Ok MonkeyBoy, so it's the voters fault? Are these machines so fucking difficult to use that it requires a skilled operator? Is that what you're tell us? I don't think a person voting should have to have any skill other than being able to indicate what candidate they want to vote for. This shouldn't be something that requires dexterity or precision otherwise you give your vote to the other party.

Last week, three Jackson County residents said they experienced similar problems when they cast early ballots at the county courthouse in Ripley.

Virginia Matheney, one of those voters, said Friday, "When I touched the screen for Barack Obama, the check mark moved from his box to the box indicating a vote for John McCain."

Retired factory worker Calvin Thomas of Ripley said he experienced the same problem.

"When I pushed Obama, it jumped to McCain. When I went down to governor's office and punched [Gov. Joe] Manchin, it went to the other dude.

"After I finished, my daughter voted. When she pushed Obama, it went to McCain. It happened to her the same way it happened to me," Thomas said.

Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright, a Republican, said 400 other people voted without reporting any problems.

So what you little dismissive prick. Does that make it OK? How many of those 400 didn't notice that the piece of shit or rigged voting machines fucked up their vote?
You should be asking that question instead of categorically denying any problem.

Wood said, "Voting machines are very reliable. I hate the fact that stories like this are printed. It makes everybody get scared.

Same goes for you, you little right wing republican lackey. You're damn right people get scared. They're going to get REAL scared. In fact, I'm having to give careful consideration as to where and when I'm going to vote.

So please, will some gov't agency PLEASE come here to Putnam and Jackson Counties and figure out what's going on here? PLEASE!!!!
We need fair elections. We need to be sure our voting machines are not rigged and will accurately record EVERY SINGLE VOTE CAST.

Is this going on anywhere else in the country?


crystal dawn said...

I believe Missouri and North Carolina both went blue today. Election fraud is going to be prevelant and the GOP are going to use every dirty trick. But I think Obama's lead in all these historically red states will be enough to win.

crystal dawn said...

p.s. how come you never hear of a voting maching flipping for the Democrat?

Anonymous said...

No receipt? If I had a camera on my cell phone, I'd try to take a picture of the screen. But then, I don't know too much about these touch-screen machines because my city still does voting the old fashioned way.

arrozconpollo said...

Steal Back Your Vote

This is how they will steal it. Voter purging, voter caging, voter intimidation...anything to suppress the votes. Machines that are unreliable or easily hackable are just the icing on the cake.

MountainLaurel said...

I wish I could vote with a paper ballot. Much more reliable. And I WILL be voting early with all the resources I can muster if something happens with my vote. I just may do it tomorrow.

THanks for getting the word out about your experience. I'll be giving them a call.

themom said...

IN Ohio we have the option of paper or electronic - I choose paper after the election has been stolen in 2000 and 2004. Someone needs to contact the DNC - they have investigators they will dispatch (so I have heard.) Thjis is a sin and yes, the Republicans feel the need to steal the vote!

Kentucky Rain said...

There is a bit of good news. According to the New York Times the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a lower Ohio court's ruling that would force a more extensive investigation into Ohio voters before they would be allowed to vote. The Republicans are forcing this issue and are still appealing the ruling. Their goal is to disenfranchise voters, mostly the poor and minorities.

Great read SB.

rainywalker said...

The newspapers here in Colorado are staarting to say they are looking into some voter problems. I wish they would go back to paper ballots that would be fed into something like an ATM machine. If you make a major mistate it kicks the card back out. If the government can rig computers why not the people in charge of voting? If I have to I'm gonna call them in the booth 50 times, but its what I don't see that worries me.

Jennifer said...

That's screwed up. Have you contacted the local Obama offices? They have a bunch of staffers all over the place, and I suspect they at least would want to get as much detail about this as possible. Go here to find an office in your area:

Also contact the ACLU's voting rights project hotline:


send an email to:
or visit

I also think you should contact the DNC. Contacting the locals doesn't sound like it result in any action. Really sad for a democracy.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Yeah, I saw that outrage.

There was a Homer Simpson episode about this, but in real life, ain't a gawd damn thing funny about it.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

Also everyone, check to see if voter registration is still in the system. It might have been deleted.

The Can I Vote? site will tell you in one minute or less. said...

You already know I DON'T trust it!! I'm telling you, there are people who are not only NOT ready for a person of color to lead this country, they are running up against the cold reality of the situation and pulling out ALL the stops to ensure it doesn't happen. I'm not usually pessimistic but...

Traci Dolan said...

I see that the Charleston Gazette is leading with this story today. Its still the same crap as before.