2012 Election | News | Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Voting Machine Filmed Changing Obama Vote to Romney: VIDEO

For the record:

VoteA 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...

WCityMike writes:

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.

CentralPAVote responds:

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.


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.

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  1. They took this particular machine out of service, msnbc just reported (2:20 pm Eastern)

    Posted by: DeeVee | Nov 6, 2012 2:29:51 PM

  2. Nothing will change. Nothing will be done about it. The FBI, the CIA, the Republicans and the KKK are all the SAME PEOPLE. They control everything.
    The same problems happened during the last two elections and NOTHING was done about it.

    America has not been a democracy for many decades. We sat back and let the right wingers take over and control everything. It's our own fault.

    This is why we don't have gay rights, we have the lowest pay of all the industrialized nations, we have the smallest amount of paid vacation days, we have almost no paid sick time, we have almost no paid maternity time, we have the most people (55 million and increasing) who have no access to health care etc etc.

    WE are to blame. We let this happen to us. We have let these right wing crazies ruin our country so they can get richer.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Nov 6, 2012 2:30:21 PM

  3. The media won't report this because, guess what ? - that's right the rich Republicans OWN the media. WAKE UP AMERICA !

    Posted by: Icebloo | Nov 6, 2012 2:32:09 PM

  4. This is why I vote absentee, mailed my ballot weeks ago, I want my vote counted correctly.

    Posted by: jsb | Nov 6, 2012 2:43:57 PM

  5. MSNBC has reported the machine has been taken offline

    Posted by: Moz's | Nov 6, 2012 3:06:38 PM

  6. There is fraud ON BOTH SIDES.

    *There should be independent observers running the polling stations, representatives of both main political parties. There of course should be NO politically oriented or partisan signage inside polling stations.

    *Why is politicking INSIDE some polling stations being tolerated when it's against the law? Why are New Black Panther goons allowed to hang out at polling stations in order to intimidate people [which of course is what they're there for]? Where are the local police to kick their a**es out?

    *Voters should [IMO] be required to show proper, legal I.D. to cast a vote. That they aren't is enough to cause considerable fraud, and everybody knows it. Any adult who can't manage to obtain a proper, legal ID IMHO should be the last people to be allowed to vote. It shows a high degree of irresponsibility.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Nov 6, 2012 3:08:23 PM

  7. "Black Panthers patrolling in Philly"

    Yeah, all four of them...two in uniforms. Booo!

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 6, 2012 3:12:44 PM

  8. It's hilarious that Drudge and Fox News are pushing this New Black Panther story. If you find black men standing in front of a polling place to be "intimidating" that says more about you than it does those men.

    Posted by: endo | Nov 6, 2012 3:18:32 PM

  9. I know, I take everything I see on youtube as gospel. Only a moron would believe that this is an actual single shot video.

    Posted by: John Duncan | Nov 6, 2012 3:31:20 PM


    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Nov 6, 2012 3:48:35 PM

  11. (Posted this elsewhere)

    OMG the FOX News website today is literally 90% stories about alleged Democratic voter irregularities (none from the Repubs of course - they are angelic-nothing about this story), and that all the media bias is against Romney, etc. It was one thing when they leaned GOP, but now it is just so silly that they have their tongues so far up the Repub butt.

    They are obviously setting up the conspiracy theories that will start tomorrow if Romeny loses. That wil be the talking points Markus starts spewing, so wait for it.

    FOX News lead stories on their website as of right now:

    Judge Orders Philly Polling Site to Cover Obama Mural

    New Black Panthers Return to Scene of '08 Polling Station Confrontation

    Super PACs Flood Campaigns With Millions, but Impact Undecided

    NC Poll Worker Allegedly Tells People to Vote Dem

    Poll Watcher Threatened with Gun, Voter Punched in Detroit

    Unions Under Fire for Voter Roll Allegations

    Democrats = bad Republicans = good

    Posted by: BETTY | Nov 6, 2012 5:33:04 PM

  12. I saw enough. Paper ballots that are marked with ink can be verified and recounted. No more hanging chads either.

    Posted by: cjr | Nov 6, 2012 9:55:37 PM

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