After complaints from voters in at least six states that their intended votes for Mitt Romney on electronic touchscreen voting machines came up as votes for President Barack Obama, the Republican National Committee (RNC) sent a letter to election officials in six states — Ohio, Nevada, Kansas, North Carolina, Missouri and Colorado — asking them to more strictly monitor their electronic voting machines on Election Day.
John R. Phillippe, Jr. sent a letter to election officials in those six states and asked them to, among other things, “re-calibrate all voting machines on the morning of Election Day before the polls open, or, if necessary, the day before the election” and “make arrangements for additional technicians on Election Day in case of increased calibration problems.”
The RNC also asked election officials to “issue guidance requiring polling place officials to prominently post a sign reminding voters to double-check that the voting machine properly recorded their vote before final submission” and another requiring “polling place officials to remind voters to double-check that the voting machine properly recorded their vote before final submission, and to note that poll workers should be notified and can assist in the case of a voting machine error.”
In North Carolina, an early voter who wanted to vote for Romney saw her vote for him come up as an Obama vote twice before she was able to cast her ballot for Romney.
The same thing happened to a voter in Ohio, when Joan Stevens hit Romney’s name on her touchscreen only to see Obama’s name come up — twice.
“I don’t know if it happened to anybody else or not, but this is the first time in all the years that we voted that this has ever happened to me,” Stevens told Fox News. “Maybe you make a mistake once, but not three times,” she told Fox News.
Multiple voters from several states have told Fox News about similar incidents:
One voter asked: “I wonder how many voters just hit the ‘Cast Ballot’ without reading the machine?”
“How can we be sure our votes are not being stolen electronically?” asked another.
Barbara Simons, an expert on electronic voting who is on the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Election Commission, said “vote jumping complaints have arisen in every election that uses touch-screen voting machines, with the complaints going both ways.”
She said vote-jumping can occur “when a machine goes out of calibration” and the “need to re-calibrate frequently is an important reason for discarding these aging, unreliable, and inaccurate machines and replacing them with paper ballots.”
Election officials have insisted that it is “nearly technically impossible” to preconfigure electronic voting machines but conceded that faulty and old touchscreen voting machines were more likely to erroneously record someone’s vote, especially if the machines have not been re-calibrated.
Stevens, the Ohio voter, insisted that people “be very careful” when they vote using electronic touchscreen machines.
“I don’t care who you vote for, just double-check,” Stevens said.