Posted on November 6, 2012
A Pennsylvania voting machine was taken out of service on Election Day 2012 after it was filmed switching a vote for President Barack Obama to one for his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, NBC News has confirmed.
Mother Jones reported that the machine was recalibrated and returned to service.
“There was a single complaint, so they recalibrated the machine, did a test run, and put it back online. We’ve had no complaints since then,” Mathew Keeler, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State, told Mother Jones.
The user, who said he works as a software developer, gave his account of what happend in the YouTube video description:
I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney’s name and started tapping very closely together to find the ‘active areas’. From the top of Romney’s button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama’s name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein’s button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.
This is not the first time a malfunctioning voting machine has been caught on camera. In 2008, a West Virginia voting machine picked the wrong candidates during a video demonstration — even after the machine had been calibrated.
On Tuesday, claims of voter fraud and voter suppression erupted in Pennsylvania after 75 Republican inspectors in Philadelphia were not able to access polling places, ABC News reports.
Several reports of voter suppression have come out of Ohio, also a crucial battleground state.
African-American early voters in Dayton were allegedly given the wrong ballots on Sunday, according to a Democracy Now report. Additionally, a suit filed Monday in federal district court claims that a company that makes electronic voting systems used in Ohio “improperly approved the use of untested, non-state certified software in voting machines to help tally results,” CBS News reports.
Although the Pennsylvania voting machine was reportedly fixed, Jezebel called the glitch “chilling” in light of comments made by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett at a Romney rally on Sunday.
At a Pennsylvania rally with Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Corbett and other Keystone State GOP leaders expressed confidence that the state’s electoral votes would go to Romney, despite Obama’s three-to-five-point lead in state polls, according to ABC News.
In 2011, Corbett decided not to move forward on a plan that would have divided Pennsylvania’s Electoral College votes by Congressional district. In a blog for The Huffington Post, conservative commentator John Ziegler wrote that this move would have been “devastating to the Obama campaign.”