Are voting machines not properly recording the intended votes of American citizens this election cycle?
With early voting underway already, more examples are being found across the nation of problems at polling places.
The latest comes from Marion County in the battleground state of Ohio, where Joan Stevens tried to vote for Mitt Romney Monday on an electronic touch screen, but Barack Obama’s name kept lighting up.
According to the Marion Star, it took her three tries for her choice to be accurately recorded.
“You want to vote for who you want to vote for, and when you can’t it’s irritating,” Stevens said.
Stevens says she alerted Jackie Smith, a Board of Elections member, who reportedly told her the machine had been having problems all day.
Stevens also reported her concern to Sophia Rogers, the director of the Board of Elections for Marion County.
The Star says Rogers indicated the machine had worked fine when she and others tried using it, and suggested the problem may have been improper use, such as not hitting the button directly or tapping with more than one finger.
“I know how to do the voting,” Stevens said, affirming she was aware of how to use the device.
Rogers contacted the machine’s vendor to inspect the device.
“Because of her issue, we had that machine recalibrated,” Rogers said. “I am certain the equipment works properly.”
Meanwhile, this is not the only case of voting-machine problems.
Just last week, there were similar cases documented at several polling places in North Carolina, in Guilford County, Jamestown and Pleasant Garden.
Sher Coromalis says she cast her ballot for Romney, but the machine defaulted to President Obama each time.
“I was so upset that this could happen,” Coromalis told WGHP-TV. “I should have just mailed it in.”
Marie Haydock, who also voted at the Bur-Mil Park polling location, had the same problem.
“The frustration is, every vote counts,” said Haydock.
Faurest Stum voted at the Pleasant Garden Town Hall location, and says her vote was for Romney, but the machine cast the vote for Obama.
“I thought this might be a one-time glitch in the machine. I had no idea that it might be happening somewhere else. This is when I called in and said this needs to stop,” she told WGHP.
George Gilbert, director of the Guilford County Board of Elections, indicated the machines had to be recalibrated.
“If you have calibration issues, it’s not systematically one way or another. It can go either way – and it has,” said Gilbert.
He says the voting machines are checked daily, and the problem is not unusual, as they popped up during the 2008 presidential election as well.
Voters who complained were able to get their vote corrected.
“To all those people that haven’t voted yet, encourage them to review their ballot before they cast their vote,” said Gilbert.
WGHP notes Guilford County switched to touchscreen voting in 1994, and the electronic machines were purchased in 2006 from Electronic Systems Software.
The problems are apparently not just limited to presidential voting.
“We here in Southern Maryland (solid GOP territory) are experiencing similar dirty tricks with respect to polling machines,” says WND reader Gary Knight. “During early voting, several Republican voters in Calvert County cast their ballots for the Republican candidate for Congress, but when the ballot was summarized prior to locking it in, the incumbent Democrat’s name came up.”
Touchscreen voting problems were an issue in the 2010 midterm election, as Democratic Sen. Harry Reid’s name had already been checked in advance for some voters.
Joyce Ferrara of Boulder City, Nev., who wanted to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, told KVVU-TV that she could understand if such an aberration happened just for her, but her husband and several others at a polling place also experienced the malfunction.
“Something’s not right,” Ferrara said. “One person that’s a fluke. Two, that’s strange. But several within a five-minute period of time, that’s wrong.”
The True the Vote website has created a National Election Integrity Hotline, saying, “If you see something at the polls that just doesn’t seem right, let us know.”
Its phone number is 855-444-6100 and email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The voting-machine glitches are just one of numerous concerns about potential voter fraud issues this cycle.
One issue is foreign involvement in the election process.
WND has reported that SCYTL, an international firm headquartered in Spain, has been contracted by a handful of states to provide secure online ballot delivery for overseas military and civilian voters for the presidential election. The states are New York, Arkansas, Alabama, West Virginia, Alaska, Mississippi, plus the federal territory of Puerto Rico.
There is also a staggering decline in absentee vote requests.
Florida had 37,953 requested ballots as of last month as opposed to 86,926 in 2008 – a difference of 48,973. North Carolina only has 1,859 requests listed compared to 13,508 in 2008.
A report released in February by the Pew Center on the States said America’s voter registration rolls are in disarray.
The report found one in eight active registrations is invalid or inaccurate, and one out of every four people eligible to vote, some 51 million voters, are not even registered.
The New York Times noted: “The report found that there are about 1.8 million dead people listed as active voters. Some 2.8 million people have active registrations in more than one state. And 12 million registrations have errors serious enough to make it unlikely that mailings based on them will reach voters.”
“These problems waste taxpayer dollars, undermine voter confidence and fuel partisan disputes over the integrity of our elections,” David Becker, director of election initiatives at the center, told the Times.