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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

November 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM

VIDEO: Possible voter fraud in Pennsylvania — or just voting machine malfunction?

Update: Reports have confirmed that the Pennsylvania voting machine in question has been taken out of commission. 

Multiple states across the country have tried to preempt voter fraud this election cycle. Largely driven by Republican legislators, these preventative measures have been decried as attempts at voter suppression, specifically of groups who tend to vote Democrat. Now, a video posted by a Pennsylvania voter threatens to not only prove the existence of voter fraud, but expose it as a direct Republican Party ploy for more Romney/Ryan votes.

The video, linked below, shows the poster attempting to select the Obama/Biden ticket on an electronic voting machine in central Pennsylvania, only to have the Romney/Ryan tab above it highlighted instead. The user, who mentions his background as a software developer in the video’s description, tried to determine if this was a screen calibration error. To test if the signals were simply swapped, he selected the Romney/Ryan tab on purpose and waited for the Obama/Biden tab to light up instead. It did not. He then tried to see if the touch pad sensor was off by half an inch, and selected the Jill Stein tab below the Obama one. As intended, doing so only highlighted the Green Party choice. No matter how the voter poked and prodded, he was unable to select the Democratic presidential ticket.

Unfortunately, his attempts at troubleshooting the voting machine happened off screen and the video shows only the original rerouted vote for Romney/Ryan. That’s enough ambiguity for any one to raise an eyebrow. But whether this is an isolated machine glitch or a plot to alter Democratic votes into Republican ones in a swing state, a larger, national conversation about electronic voting is overdue. Hundreds of comments have voiced speculations about the video on both YouTube and Reddit, but other than the overwhelming cries of “OH DEAR GOD REPORT THIS TO AN AUTHORITY,” users are engaging in some serious paper ballot nostalgia.

Voter fraud, or just voting machine malfunction?

In this case, it appears to be the latter. It is now being reported that the voting machine in question has been taken out of service.

The topic of electronic voting machines has often stirred debate: while there are efficiencies, there are also inevitable glitches that all machines–voting or otherwise–encounter.

0 Comments | More in National, State | Topics: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Pennsylvania

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