Imagine going to vote for your presidential candidate and pushing the button on a touch-screen voting machine — but the “X” marks his opponent instead. That is what some voters in Nevada, North Carolina, Texas and Ohio have reported. Fox News has received several complaints from voters who say they voted on touch-screen voting machines — only when they tried to select Mitt Romney, the machine indicated they had chosen President Obama. The voters in question realized the error and were able to cast ballots for their actual choice. “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,” said Marion, Ohio, voter Joan Stevens.
One expert warns it can happen. “Vote jumping complaints have arisen in every election that uses touch-screen voting machines, with the complaints going both ways,” said Barbara Simons, author of the new book “Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?”
Simons, an expert on electronic voting who is on the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Election Commission, said there is good reason for people not to trust the older touch-screen machines.
She said, “This phenomenon can occur when a machine goes out of calibration. The need to re-calibrate frequently is an important reason for discarding these aging, unreliable, and inaccurate machines and replacing them with paper ballots.”