Rise of the Machines: Voter Booth Error

Image by Freedigitalphotos.net
Voting day is a time to put your opinions to the test and vote for who you believe will either change the country or continue the path we are going in.  It is expected that the way we vote, however, is not a factor in this race.  This year, unfortunately  one voter was able to capture his booth crediting his vote to the opposing candidate.  On Reddit (a popular social media site), a user uploaded a video of himself casting a vote for Obama, but the machine checking the box for Republican Mitt Romney.

MSNBC has confirmed this story.  The username of who uploaded the video was 'centralpavote' According to him, he went to vote with his wife on the morning of the election.
I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney’s name and started tapping very closely together to find the ‘active areas’. From the top of Romney’s button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama’s name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein’s button was fine. All other buttons worked fine. 
He recorded the video after notifying a volunteer who ended up shrugging him off.  Although this is a calibration issue of the machine and not intentional voter fraud, it still should raise extreme concerns with using voting machines that do not have a paper trail.  Ironically, a few weeks ago, the Republican party sent a letter out requesting a calibration of the machines after reports came in that a vote for Romney was being tallied as a vote for Obama.

Voting Machine

The Daily Serge will be sure to keep tabs on this story as it develops.


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