Early voters in Texas are reporting that their ballots are being changed by electronic voting machines in at least 80 counties throughout the Lone Star State.
Both Democrat and Republican voters have alleged that, when voting straight-party tickets, their ballots were changed to support the other party.
On Friday, the Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos’ office responded to reports of ballots being “flipped,” and admitted that there were issues, however, through a spokesperson, said the fault was with the voters, not the machines.
“The Hart eSlate machines are not malfunctioning, the problems being reported are a result of user error – usually voters hitting a button or using the selection wheel before the screen is finished rendering,” said Pablos’ office, via spokesman Sam Taylor.
Taylor stated that his office urged “all Texans casting a ballot to take their time, slow down, and carefully review their ballot before casting one.”
The Houston Chronicle reported that Democratic voters claimed the machines indicated that they were about to cast a vote for Cruz, when they originally intended to choose O’Rourke. Several people said they were able to get help from employees at polling places in order to change their vote back.
The problem occurs on the Hart eSlate voting machine when voters turn a selection dial and hit the “enter” button simultaneously, according to the state. Eighty-two of the 254 counties in Texas have these machines, although complaints have only come from Fort Bend, Harris, McLennan, Montgomery, Tarrant and Travis counties, according to Taylor
“This is not an isolated issue but a symptom of a wider breakdown in Texas’s election systems,” said Beth Stevens, the organization’s voting rights director. “Texas voters should have full confidence that when they use a voting machine they are indeed casting their ballot of choice.”