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November 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM
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.
May 1, 2012 at 6:30 AM
Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach discusses the political climate and parallels to Washington State
The political climate in Washington State may become similar to that in Pennsylvania should Rob McKenna become Governor of Washington State this fall. UWEE sat down with State Sen. Leach to discuss the similarities.
BRYN MAWR, Penn. — During our Pennsylvania road trip, we traveled to the 17th Senatorial District to interview State Senator Daylin Leach (D). Senator Leach served under Pennsylvania’s former Governor Ed Rendell (D) and has seen the dramatic changes in the State government under its current Governor, Tom Corbett (R).
The political climate in Washington State may become similar to that in Pennsylvania should Rob McKenna, who is currently favored to win, become Governor of Washington State this fall. McKenna has made promises similar to those Corbett made while campaigning: Prioritizing education, putting cost cutting reforms into place in order to balance the budget, and managing state services.
We arrived at the Senator’s office to a flurry of activity. Volunteers were preparing to “Get Out The Vote” by canvassing neighborhoods and making phone calls. We asked Senator Leach, a self described liberal, to discuss changes he has seen under the new administration and to address issues that his constituents have faced since Governor Corbett has taken office. Our hope was to shed light on possible parallels Washingtonians may themselves face should McKenna be elected.
March 5, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Nowadays, robocalling is standard practice for political campaigns. In a presidential election year, almost everyone can expect an automated phone call here and there. This nomination season, voters in contested states, like South Carolina or Ohio, racked up dozens of robotic voice mails. Sometimes it’s Robo-Robert on the other end of the cord, sometimes it’s Barbara Bush. Usually, it’s just annoying.
Nevertheless, setting up an automated phone bank is usually easier than finding flesh-and-blood volunteers. With companies like Republican Robo Calls — who assure the customer they’ve never worked with a Democrat — charging only two to seven cents per call, million dollar campaigns can hardly afford not use them.
Yet for a system supposedly designed to avoid human error, there’s certainly a lot of it. Whether it’s scandalous content, like accusing John McCain of fathering an illegitimate black child in 2000, or just ringing the wrong households, like Rick Santorum phoning Democrats in Michigan, robocalling can be disastrous for both its users and subjects.
The robocalls that peppered Washington state in anticipation of the Republican caucus had their share of trickery as well.