Maryland state election officials pulled 35 voting machines offline during the 2014 elections, mostly because of complaints about possible vote-flipping by the electronic machines, according to a review by the News-4 I-Team. The state’s board of elections received dozens of complaints from voters about machines that had changed their votes from the candidate of one political party to that of another — Democrat to Republican or Republican to Democrat. Those complaints included some from voters in Germantown, Columbia and Adelphia. The News-4 I-Team’s review of state election databases and internal agency emails shows a 50 percent increase in vote-flipping complaints in 2014 from the 2012 state elections.
One voter who also called News4 to report a vote-flipping problem on a machine on Election Day said the machine changed her vote twice from a Republican candidate to a Democratic candidate. In another incident detailed in state investigative reports, a Baltimore County voter reported his choice of a Democratic Congressional candidate was mistakenly flipped by the machine to register as a vote for the Republican candidate.
Internal agency emails reveal the state board of elections received a series of warnings from voters about possible machine calibration problems in the days before Election Day. Those voters reported similar issues during the early voting period, including multiple complaints at a polling place in Germantown.