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Some NC Touch Screen Voting Machines Cast Wrong Ballots

One of the voting machines at the Bur-Mil Park in Greensboro. Photo: Telegram.

By The Raleigh Telegram

GREENSBORO – Voters across the state may want to make sure that the person they intend to vote for is indeed reflected in the final ballot cast on the touchscreen voting machines this election.

Reports across the state have shown that some voters wanted to vote for one person, but the machine showed a different person on the screen.

In Greensboro, North Carolina problems first surfaced at early voting machines at the Bur-Mil Park.  A voter complained that they tried to vote for Mitt Romney three times but that the ballot cast was instead for Barack Obama.  Other voters in Guilford County and in some other parts of the state said they experienced similar issues.

The incident made national news and appeared on such websites such as The Drudge Report.

In a Greensboro newspaper, Guilford County Register of Deeds George Gilbert said that all touch screen voting machines have to be recalibrated periodically, especially during times of heavy use. 

In addition, Gilbert said that it is very important that voters review their choices before hitting the button to mark their final vote as “cast.”

Although Gilbert says the machines can make errors in either direction and for both parties, the problem was enough of a concern for the Mitt Romney campaign that it sent out a press release last week requesting that state boards of election make sure the machines were working correctly in battleground states like North Carolina and Ohio.

Gilbert said that the problem was not widespread.

“Both parties have observers in most of the early voting sites,” said Gilbert to The Rhinocerous Times weekly newspaper in Greensboro.  “If they were seeing widespread problems, I think we would have heard from them.”

He added that it is up to each voter to review their choices before leaving the voting booth and to contact a voting site helper if you have problems or if a machine needs to be recalibrated.

“There are three times to check your vote,” said Gilbert.  “If you vote and never look at the screen, we can’t help you.”  ::

Article Posted: Tuesday, November 6th, 2012.

5 Responses to Some NC Touch Screen Voting Machines Cast Wrong Ballots

  1. Reddick

    November 6, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Great advice! Check your vote!

  2. Melinda V

    November 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Fantastic political coverage.Thanks for letting us know about these voting machine problems!

  3. Fiona

    November 6, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Its like women and men aren’t on the same page until some of these issues are discussed, but if men were in our shoes they would feel the same way.

  4. Jon Schwark

    November 6, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Gilbert is a TERRIBLE source on this – he has been fighting paper verification for years. How often have you heard of ATMs having to be recalibrated because they gave someone tons of extra money? How long have you used your iphone and it still knows where your finger is? I don’t buy the recalibration argument AT ALL. This isn’t rocket science. Even if it is a thing, you should be able to calculate a MTBF (mean time between failure) and the machines should be proactively serviced on the low side of the probable range of errors. PERIOD. anything else is not aceptable. And isn’t Gilbert’s job to keep them recalibrated? So basically he’s admitting to not doing his job very well? Also, where is the video evidence of a machine skewing a touch to Obama?

  5. Pix

    November 6, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Video of touch screen voting machine registering the incorrect field selected.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdpGd74DrBM