Voting machines in Georgia are changing votes cast for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams to votes for her Republican opponent, current Secretary of State Brian Kemp, according to a complaint filed by the Georgia NAACP on Tuesday.
USA Today reported the NAACP filed its complaint electronically with the Secretary of State Office, alleging that some voting machines in Bartow and Dodge Counties did not initially record the votes correctly.
> "We’ve experienced this before," said Phyllis Blake, president of the Georgia NAACP. “They ended up taking these old dilapidated machines out of service. The ones giving the problems. They should have been replaced about 10 years ago."
> The complaints were shared first with USA TODAY.
> Blake said she plans to file two more complaints late Tuesday involving similar complaints in Henry and Cobb counties. The complaints are on behalf of eight voters. Blake said she plans to follow up with county election officials Wednesday.
Tuesday’s complaint comes on the heels of voter suppression accusations against Kemp, including improper purging of voter rolls and withholding voter registrations of predominantly black voters — along with the issue of Kemp overseeing the process and results of his own gubernatorial election.
> Kemp, who heads the state’s election system, has denied efforts to suppress the vote. His office said Wednesday morning that it is reviewing the complaints.
> "If warranted, our office will open a formal investigation on behalf of the State Election Board,'' Candice Broce, a spokeswoman, said in an email. "We always encourage voters to reach out to our office if they experience any issues or witness any suspicious activity at the polls."
Dexter Benning, a Democrat sitting on the Bartow Board of Elections and Voter Registration, told USA Today he doesn’t believe the problem is systemic but rather the result of older voting machines.
After informing an election supervisor of the problem, Benning was told it is likely a calibration issue.
> Benning, who also voted on that same machine, said he had to touch the screen twice to make sure the correct candidate was selected. It worked, he said.
> “We’re telling people just to check it,” Benning said. “We’re also telling them to check and make sure they haven’t been purged from the voting rolls.”
He added that with concerns over voter suppression tactics, “the last thing we need to have is a problem with the machines."