Voting Machine: No, You Really Meant to Vote for McCain

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Even though the great state of West Virginia is only at threat level orange for having the closest thing the average American has to a voice tampered with, in at least three counties, voters have complained that when they tried to vote for Barack Obama, the touchscreen voting machine cast their vote for John McCain. One voter reported that all of their Democratic votes, for every level of government, were magically transformed into real American Republican ones. Some officials blamed it on user error for not touching the screens properly—Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright said that 400 people voted early using Election Systems & Software's machines without any problems at all. Oh and:

"I hate the fact that stories like this are printed. It makes everybody get scared. That is not good for anybody. Where the fault is, I don't know and the voter doesn't know. There needs to be good communication between the voters and the poll workers."


After being contacted by the Secretary of State's office, though, they've agreed to re-calibrate the machines. Ones of the counties with touchscreen wonkiness, Putnam, will actually use an optical scan machine with a full-size paper ballot on election day—the touchscreens are just for early voting, so it hopefully won't be an issue. The takeaway is that whoever you're voting for, wherever you're doing it, whatever you're using, double-check it to make sure it was properly recorded before you walk out of the booth. If it's not, call the poll person over, it's what they're there for. Of course, if you see voting machines doing anything particularly crazy, be sure to let us know about it. [Wired]



Knowing how touchscreens can be, I wouldn't be surprised if this is innocent error. Perhaps someone placing their other hand on the screen, or leaning their wrist against it while touching the item they want? A serious problem nonetheless, but I'm not quite ready to call fraud yet...