As voters headed to the polls in Georgia and Texas for early voting, complaints began piling up of machines switching votes from Democratic to Republican candidates — or even deleting selections altogether, Law & Crime reported Monday.
> According to Politico, individuals, as well as civil rights groups, have filed complaints alleging that glitches are resulting in votes for Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) instead of his Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke. There have also been complaints that votes have gone to Georgia’s Republican candidate for governor, Brian Kemp, instead of his Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams.
> Voting technology experts have said that this is not the result of foul play, but outdated, faulty systems that don’t even leave a paper trail of what happened. Kemp, who is currently the Georgia Secretary of State, has resisted past calls for the state to change voting systems. His state has used the same system since 2002. Texas only uses electronic machines in some counties, but there have been reports of ballots that were intended to be “straight ticket” votes for one party were changed to the other party.
But this is not a new phenomenon, Marian Schneider told Politico.
Schneider, the president of Verified Voting — an organization seeking to improve and maintain election integrity that supports paper ballots — said this problem arises each election season, telling Politico: “These voting equipment issues surface every election, ever since 2006 when these were widely deployed.”
Neither Georgia’s nor Texas’ secretary of state appeared overly concerned about the issue.
Kemp’s office initially called reports of vote switching “fake outrage”, though later said in a statement to Law & Crime that the issue arose when voters touched the wrong part of the screen on voting machines.
> “They have no evidence and no witnesses,” Kemp press secretary Cody Hall told Politico. “Just fake outrage and members of the media who care more about headlines than facts.”
> This type of complaint is attributable to voters touching the wrong part of the voting unit’s screen. Voters from both parties have reported similar claims this election cycle, and neither side’s claims have been substantiated. We have not seen a higher volume of these reports than what we have seen in previous election cycles. Sworn law enforcement officers are investigating these reports. We review every single complaint that we receive, and we always encourage voters to contact us to report concern.
The problem was explained similarly by officials in Texas:
> Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos blamed any problems on the voters themselves not being careful enough, instead of any technological error.
> “We have received less than 20 complaints statewide from voters who told us they experienced this issue, and it came from voters who tried to vote straight party (both democrats and republicans) and then began using the machine before the screen finished rendering,” the spokesperson said.