Roughly 50 Republican voters in Maryland have come forward with complaints about the state’s electronic voting machines. The voters claim the machines incorrectly swtiched their votes for Republican candidates to Democrats.
“We’ve heard from scores of citizens in our district and around the state who have had this problem where they hit one button to vote for one person, and when they go to the summary they see that the other person was checked,” Republican state representative Del Nik Kipke told CBS Baltimore.
Republican Delegate Kathy Szeliga says the machine error happened while she was voting.
“I kept pushing the Republican guy’s name and the machine kept going beep, beep, beep,” Szeliga says.
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Here is a video from a Maryland voter showing the alleged glitch. Notice, though, that for both votes, the voter is pressing either on or very close to the line seperating the two candidates:
State election officials responded to the allegations and said they receive similar claims from both Democrat and Republican voters of every election.
"This number [of complaints] isn't any larger than normal," Deputy Administrator Nikki Baines Charlson told the Baltimore Sun.
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Election officials checked up on all 20 of the machines voters complained about. Twelve had no problem, three were removed from service for recalibration, and five were not tested because only one voter reported a problem with the machine.
State officials released a statement saying that “election officials receive similar reports in every election. Post-election analysis has shown that this is caused by voter error. Voters with large fingers or long nails or voters who hold the touchscreen with their palm resting on the screen seem to report this issue more frequently.”
Voters are being instructed to use only the tips of their fingers when selecting candidates and to alert election officials if they have any problems. For what it’s worth, Charlson said the current machines will be replaced in 2016.