The trustworthiness of electronic voting machines has once again come under scrutiny after a touch screen in North Carolina flipped a man’s vote from Democrat to Republican in a key Senate race.
“Percy Bostick, 69, of Greensboro said he tried casting a vote for Democrat Kay Hagan at the Old Guilford County Courthouse, only to have the machine register Republican Thom Tillis as his choice,” reports the News-Record.
Bostick was forced to vote four times before the machine accurately recorded his choice.
With just over a point separating Tillis and Hagan in this crucial contest, any impropriety centered on electronic voting machines is likely to cause a dispute if the margin of victory is smaller than the amount of votes cast on touch screen systems.
This is by no means the first time that electronic touch screens have flipped votes in the run up to the mid-term elections.
A woman who voted early last week in Montgomery County, Md. saw her three votes for Republican candidates flip to Democrat right before her eyes. The error was subsequently blamed on a “calibration issue.”
Votes being cast for Republican candidates in Illinois were also changed to Democrats.
“You could imagine my surprise as the same thing happened with a number of races when I tried to vote for a Republican and the machine registered a vote for a Democrat,” Republican state representative candidate Jim Moynihan told Fox News.
Last month, residents of Tennessee voting on an amendment that would allow the legislature to “to enact, amend, or repeal statutes regarding abortion, including, but not limited to, circumstances of pregnancy resulting from rape or incest or when necessary to save the life of the mother” found that their “no” votes were being flipped to “yes” by electronic voting machines.
Meanwhile in Pulaski County, Arkansas, at least a dozen residents also experienced their votes being flipped, although a KATV report didn’t specify whether they were being changed from D to R or from R to D.
“More than a quarter of U.S. voters this year will cast 100% unverifiable votes on such e-voting systems which may, or may not, record and register any votes the way that voters intended. There is no way for voters to ever know one way or another,” writes Brad Friedman.