Pennsylvania Voting Machine Filmed Changing Obama Vote to Romney: VIDEO
For the record:
A Pennsylvania voter says that his electronic ballot changed a vote to Romney that he intended for Obama. While some are suggesting that the clip might be a fake, the uploader insists it is not. Commenters on YouTube are calling for the Justice Department to be notified.
YouTube user CentralPAVote writes:
My wife and I went to the voting booths this morning before work. There were 4 older ladies running the show and 3 voting booths that are similar to a science fair project in how they fold up. They had an oval VOTE logo on top center and a cartridge slot on the left that the volunteers used to start your ballot.
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.
I asked the voters on either side of me if they had any problems and they reported they did not. I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said "It's nothing to worry about, everything will be OK." and went back to what she was doing. I then recorded this video.
Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...
That's likely nothing sinister, just a miscalibrated touch screen. If you were to "vote" for Jill Stein on that machine, you'd likely register a vote for Obama. You'd let the local official know and insist they decommission or recalibrate the machine -- if they don't, then you'd take whatever loud, noisy action would be necessary.
I thought this was also the case, so before recording the video I tried your suggestion. I selected Stein and it worked fine. I selected Romney and it was fine. Additionally, I did call over a vote official who told me, and I quote, "Don't worry about it, everything will be fine."
Writes another commenter:
If the last frame is correct, this is in Wilkes-Barre, PA. "Betsy Elizabeth Summers" is on the ballot. On the face of it, it is a poorly calibrated device. At the very minimum, the precinct captains need to take this machine offline until it is properly calibrated.
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UPDATE: Here's an excellent interview with electronic voting machine experts about concerns for this election.
UPDATE II: And Gawker spoke with Joseph Lorenzo Hall, Senior Staff Technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology, about this particular video in Pennsylvania:
It's a concern but not because of fraud... that's an obviously miscalibrated iVotronic (ES&S) voting machine... we would recommend that poll workers would recalibrate the machine and everything would be fine. Also, with some models of voting system if you place a thumb on accident while resting on the machine it can "bias" the calibration of the touchscreen up towards the errant thumb. That could be happening to, if it's only for this one voter.
Hall says the most important thing is, MAKE SURE YOU CHECK YOUR WORK when you're done voting.
And one of my Facebook followers, Andrew Edwards, writes:
No matter who you're voting for, a voting machine should not do this. If it happens to you, be sure to document it with your phone and call the Voter Hotline at 855-444-6100.