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Voting Machines ‘Picking’ Wrong Candidate in Some Battleground States

An older voting booth
(Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

Although it’s not considered widespread, increasing reports are filtering in about voter machines that select the “wrong” candidate when the voter pushes the button or touches the screen.Votes in Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and Ohio have reported their voting machine “switched” their vote, or registered the opposite of what they wanted when they cast their ballot.

Multiple voters contacted Fox News after having this happen. A woman in Marion County, Ohio had to hit her selection three times before it registered properly. County election officials claimed she may have hit it too hard. After hearing numerous reports from across the country, the Republican National Committee sent word to voting authorities in the these (as well as Colorado and Missouri) asking for additional scrutiny on the machines.

Most county election officials claim a properly-calibrated machine will perform accurately all the time. Lorain County, Ohio officials say they’ve been using them since 2005, and have never had a complaint. However, the leading expert on voting technology, Barbara Simons, warns this type of thing can and does happen with more frequency that people realize (from Fox News):

“Vote jumping complaints have arisen in every election that uses touch-screen voting machines, with the complaints going both ways.”

Simons, an expert on electronic voting who is on the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Election Commission, said there is good reason for people not to trust the older touch-screen machines.

She said, “This phenomenon can occur when a machine goes out of calibration. The need to re-calibrate frequently is an important reason for discarding these aging, unreliable, and inaccurate machines and replacing them with paper ballots.”

Simons is the author of a new book called, “Broken Ballots-Will Your Vote Count?”

Most county officials advise voters to make sure you check your ballot-twice. Fortunately, in southeastern Washington we don’t have to worry about it. Just carefully mark you ballot and make sure it’s in the proper drop box before the deadline.


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