In West Virginia voters using a touch screen voting machine saw their vote for Obama flip to McCain. They did it again and the vote went to McCain. Several stories of people using these screens have come up over the last few days of early voting.
Retired factory worker Calvin Thomas of Ripley...
"When I pushed Obama, it jumped to McCain. When I went down to governor's office and punched [Gov. Joe] Manchin, it went to the other dude. After I finished, my daughter voted. When she pushed Obama, it went to McCain. It happened to her the same way it happened to me."
When they complained about this the polling clerk asked if they were sure they touched the screen inside the box. The State's Secretary in charge of the election stated that they had problems before when they moved the touch screen voting machines from storage to early voting places.
"When I touched the screen for Barack Obama, the check mark moved from his box to the box indicating a vote for John McCain," said Matheney, who lives in Kenna. When she reported the problem, she said, the poll worker in charge "responded that everything was all right. It was just that the screen was sensitive and I was touching the screen too hard. She instructed me to use only my fingernail."
Even after she began using her fingernail, Matheney said, the problem persisted. When she tried to vote for candidates running for two open seats on the Supreme Court, the electronic machine canceled her second vote twice.
The question is that if this has been a problem before, why were the machines not re-calibrated before voting began. How many people voted for someone they did not want and missed it or just gave up? Voters also have the option in some areas of using an optical scan machine with a paper ballot. I know which one I would be using.
Even after all the problems that the elections that Bush won, why are they still unable to assure people that their vote is being counted, it will go to the person you have chosen. It brings into question the integrity of the American democracy. Perhaps bringing an end to partisan control and over-sight of elections could begin to restore faith.
All I can add is that I am pleased i have the paper ballot here in Canada. If I were an American voter, I think I might use the mail-in ballot. At least then there is a copy and I can see my vote is in the correct box...