Voters in Texas claim voting machines are switching ballots; secretary of state says problem being caused by user error

Texas: Voting machines in Texas are switching single ticket ballots cast for either the Democratic or the Republican Party, voters from around 80 counties in the southern US state have claimed.

The office of the Texas Secretary Of State on Friday confirmed issues that have been reported with the Hart eSlate voting machines, used in around 30 percent of the counties in the state, Fox News reported.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The Secretary of State’s office further clarified that the issues, which have also affected the race between sitting GOP Senator Ted Cruz and Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke, were caused by the voters rather than 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 Sam Taylor, the spokesman for the office of Secretary of State Rolando Pablos.

He further stated that his office “has no legal authority whatsoever to force any” vendor of the voting machines “to make upgrades if their voting systems are otherwise in compliance with federal state and law,” confirming that the Hart eSlate’s system was certified in 2009.

He also said that the county was responsible for the purchase of new voting machines if the need emerged. "We will continue to educate Texas voters using existing resources and urge all Texans casting a ballot to take their time, slow down, and carefully review their ballot before casting one," Taylor said.

Meanwhile, Hart InterVCivic, the manufacturer of the voting machines, defended the machine’s efficiency by blaming ‘16-year-old technology’ for the issues. “The same story has happened in multiple elections. There was no flipping then and there's not any now,” said the vice president of the company, Steven Stockwell.

In a statement to Democrat supporters, Ted Cruz said, “Once you select the Republican Party ticket, please be patient and do not select 'next' until the ballot has populated all of the selections.”

On the other hand, the Texas unit of the Democratic Party labelled the issue “a malfunction,” blaming the Secretary of State’s office of not taking necessary steps to warn the voters regarding the same.


Updated Date: Oct 28, 2018 13:27 PM

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