As the midterm election season continues to roar on, voters across the United States are encountering a familiar but still potent problem — technical difficulties. In states that rely on electronic voting machines, early voters have noticed their votes going to the candidate they don’t want and faced some difficulty in switching the mark. A new report along these lines has now emerged out of Texas.
Texas voters who have attempted to use a function selecting all of the candidates of a particular party — including both Democrat and Republican — have reported noticing their votes going to the wrong person. Democratic voters including Houston’s Mickey Blake and Fort Bend County’s Cordell Hosea, both of whom spoke to local Texas media, have just barely kept their support from going to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, who’s fighting for re-election through a credible challenge posed by El Paso Democrat Beto O’Rourke.
‘When I got to the end, I just so happened that I glanced at the screen, I saw Ted Cruz was selected as my senator.’
Imagine how many other voters might not have noticed that the machine recorded their selection incorrectly in time.
Blake added that she tried multiple times to no avail to fix her selection, going through the selection process at least three times.
Texas authorities acknowledged that the issue has persisted for some voters, but “not for everyone.”
The problem, which has plagued Democrats and Republicans alike, has gone on for at least six years, according to Fort Bend County Election Administrator John Oldham, who adds that he’s spoken to the Texas Secretary of State about the issue.
‘It’s not a glitch, it’s a user-induced problem that comes from the type of system that we have. I think both sides could be equally hurt.’
The issue reportedly stems from voters interacting with two of the voting machine’s controls at once — but there’s not been any apparent update to make the system less delicate and more user-friendly. Texas doesn’t even have a pop-up on its electronic voting system admonishing voters to make sure their machine accurately recorded their selection.
The state isn’t the only one where reports of issues with electronic voting machines have emerged this year. Just recently, the Georgia NAACP filed complaints with Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s office over voting machines inaccurately recording voters’ attempted selections in the state’s governor’s race.
That state has seen a whole host of problems of its own beyond that issue. Kemp — who is running for governor — has led what amounts to a voter suppression campaign with tactics ranging from a delay in processing tens of thousands of voter registrations to a purge of tens of thousands of names from the state’s voting registry.
He’s faced steep criticism, remaining neck-and-neck with his Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams.
Neither his voter suppression efforts nor those of any Republican elsewhere in the United States will necessarily tamp down on the blue wave that’s coming. Democrats are expected to take the U.S. House and control across state governments too.