Voting Glitches on Primary Day

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


As Sasha Abramsky amply details in his recent Mother Jones article, voting can be a dicey business these days, in spite of–and in many cases because of “improvements” introduced by the 2002 Help America Vote Act. Tuesday’s primaries brought fresh evidence that the machinery of American democracy doesn’t run smoothly everywhere. In Ohio, Texas, Florida, California, and Chicago, (poorly trained) poll workers had difficulty operating new voting machines, or didn’t show up; and in one place, suburban Washington D.C., essential voting equipment was missing.

Voting machine companies blame poll workers, often no doubt with good reason. “If you prick their fingers and there’s blood coming out, they serve,” R. Doug Lewis, executive director of the Election Center, which represents state and local election officials, told USA Today. But of course the machines themselves have a history of screwing up, often in ways that aren’t immediately obvious. (And, of course, they can be hacked.)

Some of the problems can be put down to the pace of (enforced) change–resulting in, for example, some counties receiving their touch-screen machines only two weeks before voting day. And many should be ironed out by November. (Yes?) But some election officials take a gloomy view. “I really believe that we’ve got a crisis of confidence in our voting systems,” says one from Travis County, Texas.

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

LET’S TALK ABOUT OPTIMISM FOR A CHANGE

Democracy and journalism are in crisis mode—and have been for a while. So how about doing something different?

Mother Jones did. We just merged with the Center for Investigative Reporting, bringing the radio show Reveal, the documentary film team CIR Studios, and Mother Jones together as one bigger, bolder investigative journalism nonprofit.

And this is the first time we’re asking you to support the new organization we’re building. In “Less Dreading, More Doing,” we lay it all out for you: why we merged, how we’re stronger together, why we’re optimistic about the work ahead, and why we need to raise the First $500,000 in online donations by June 22.

It won’t be easy. There are many exciting new things to share with you, but spoiler: Wiggle room in our budget is not among them. We can’t afford missing these goals. We need this to be a big one. Falling flat would be utterly devastating right now.

A First $500,000 donation of $500, $50, or $5 would mean the world to us—a signal that you believe in the power of independent investigative reporting like we do. And whether you can pitch in or not, we have a free Strengthen Journalism sticker for you so you can help us spread the word and make the most of this huge moment.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate