A state lawmaker in Maryland has asked the FBI to impound two voting machines used in the 2012 election to determine whether there was a malfunction or something nefarious going on.
“I just feel it is my duty to try to get to the bottom of this,” state Delegate Kathryn Afzali told WND today. “We’re not making any accusations. The Board of Elections are good people. They have checks and balances … but we want to make sure everything is fair.”
She said a number of people contacted her after the Nov. 6 election to report that they pressed a touch-screen button for GOP candidate Mitt Romney, but the vote registered for Barack Obama.
WND has reported a number of first-hand accounts of similar anomalies during the election. One touch-screen technician reported that voters in another state were getting error messages on their touch-screens when they tried to vote for Romney.
Also, suspiciously, a number of precincts reported a 100-percent vote for Obama, and some even reported beyond 100 percent.
“My request [to the FBI] is … I want them to take these machines. Let an FBI computer expert analyze them,” she said.
She said that among those who contacted her with concerns were two officials, including a state lawmaker who personally experienced a vote machine changing his vote three times to the party whose agenda he opposed.
The lawmaker told her that his computer background left him confident that the problem was beyond a technical glitch, and he insisted that the election judge take the machine out of service and lock it up.
Another concern was raised by Carroll County Commissioner Richard Rothschild. who said it’s critical that the machines be analyzed properly to determine what happened.
“We need to freeze them in their current state, not wipe out data,” he said.
He said his constituent reported the same scenario as has been reported: hitting the touch-screen button for Romney but finding that that it registered for Obama.
Rothschild said it’s a major problem that has to be addressed in order for Americans to continue trusting their election system.
He said the constituent noticed the vote changes on the summary screen.
“It showed Obama as being selected,” Rothschild told WND, even though his constituent reported voting for the GOP ticket.
“After talking with a few other people, this concern seems to be increasing,” Rothschild told WND. “There are just two possible answers. Either he made a mistake, or something caused that machine to switch the vote.”
He said given that his constituent has experience with computers, the contention that he didn’t know how to use the machine seems a stretch.
“I know how easy it would be to introduce a single spurious line of code,” Rothschild told WND, noting a programmer could easily instruct the machine to change the vote periodically, so a routine test wouldn’t reveal any problems.
He said he was told the county had no jurisdiction over the issue and that it would be up to the state, which is why he discussed the concerns with Afzali.
“It’s very scary,” Rothschild told WND. “It creates a sense of helplessness and hopelessness.”
That, in turn, he said, results in people feeling desperate about their failure to impact government.
“If American people feel they cannot trust their voting system, there’s the possibility of more desperate action,” he said. “There are a number of possibilities [for reaction] in nullifications, secession, including throwing off such governments.
“If people think their voting processes do not work, [if] they conclude they are not being afforded constitutional protections, they may conclude their only option is to throw off such government,” he said.
He said the forensics of voting machine examination would be very important, but a good investigatory review could provide a lot of answers.
“We have all seen little pieces of the problem,” he said.
But to determine what is a problem, he said some sort of overview perspective would be needed.
Not only do authorities need to do a review, future elections need to be done so that every voter is given a printed copy of his or her own vote. The copies could be compiled by clerks to provide a point of reference if questions arise, he said.
Afzali told WND that because she’s on the state elections committee, a number of people came directly to her with their complaints.
She said the two machines that were identified now are locked up with all the other equipment, but she’s asked the FBI step in and take custody of them.
“If we do not have integrity in our election process then we don’ t have the exceptionalism as a constitutional republic, we don’t have a rule of law,” West said.