Voting Machine Problems In Williamson County And Throughout The State

Posted in Election 2006, Williamson County at 9:50 am by wcnews

This story via the HCN tells us of what is going on in with electronic voting in Willaimson County, Software error leaves county vote unplugged:

Williamson County, along with dozens of other counties, will not meet the state’s legal requirement for electronic voting machines because of a Nebraska manufacturer’s inability to provide adequate software for them, voting officials said.

More than 500 electronic voting machines in the county from Electronic Systems and Software (ESS) used specifically for disabled voters are useless for early voting, forcing local election officials to switch back to pen and paper.

Although the snafu forced many counties to scramble, the impact was relatively small in Williamson County where machines are only used for disabled voters, who represent a smaller percentage of the population. Some counties used electronic voting all of their voting.

The hiccup comes on the eve of early voting, which begins Monday.


“They didn’t do programming for any of the counties,” Cliff Borofsky, the county elections administrator said. “They didn’t have the capacity. The impact won’t be as large here. We have our ballots, and we’re already set to go.”


“Electronic voting is good,” Borofsky said. “You just have to work out the kinks and the scheduling.”

But it’s worse in other parts of the state. Here’s the situation in Bexar County, Bexar’s early voters to put pen to paper:

Bexar County’s electronic voting machines — for which it paid $8 million — will be unplugged when early voting starts Monday in local elections because the equipment supplier failed to deliver the necessary software, according to county officials.

The county Elections Department instead will use emergency paper ballots and may have to do so again on election day, May 13.

County officials say they have no guarantee from Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software that it’ll have the touch-screen voting machines ready by then.

And the hassles don’t stop there: The company also hasn’t delivered programming for the county’s hand-held optical scanners, which could mean counting votes by hand.

Remember the former CEO of ESS, named American Information Systems Inc. when he was in charge, is Republican Nebraska Senator and future presidential candidate Chuck Hagel. There’s much more to this story of ESS’s failure in Texas and around the country. To learn more check out these two Brad Blog posts (here and here) which show the problems, not only in Texas, but around the country with ESS. If you read the above linked article from the SAEN all the way through, you’ll see that ESS has completely blown this election.


  1. Capitol Annex » From The BLogs: Monday, May 1, 2006 said,

    May 1, 2006 at 10:55 am

    […] Eye on Williamson has a post up about voting machine problems in Williamson County and elsewhere. […]

  2. Phillip Martin said,

    May 2, 2006 at 1:42 am

    At the office I work in, we got called from a local school that couldn’t afford to re-program the electronic voting machines for the new election. The Secretary of State’s office basically said, “tough,” and blamed the Feds. The school just decided to blow off the machines - they only expect about 100 voters for their school board elections, anyway.

    Just an FYI. Good post.

  3. Eye on Williamson » Cliff Borofsky Pulls A Porter Goss And Reisgns Abruptly! said,

    May 8, 2006 at 12:11 pm

    […] I know Borofsky had left Bexar County after some election problems and there were some problems here during the runoff. I don’t know if that or the recent problems with ES&S had anything to do with it. The interesting thing is the officials quoted from the county don’t seem to surprised or concerned. […]

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