Voters who want to cast their ballots early have run into a problem in one state. At least two North Carolina voting machines have been changing Democratic votes to Republican in two different polling places in Guilford County. While trying to vote for U.S. Senate candidate Kay Hagan, votes were changed to her Republican opponent Thom Tillis.
According to News & Record, election officials have received 14 complaints since early voting began on Oct. 23. Last week, Percy Bostick of Greensboro had to make four attempts before his vote for Hagan was properly recorded. He alerted poll workers to the problem, and they deleted his vote from the machine altogether and directed him to another machine. The machine was then taken out of service. A similar problem was reported at another Greensboro polling place last week, but it is unclear from local reports if that machine was pulled.
Hagan and Tillis are locked in a toss-up race for the Senate seat, with Real Clear Politics giving Hagan a +1.1 advantage. With such a close race, voting machine malfunctions are disconcerting, to say the least. And this isn't the first time that North Carolina has had problems with its voting machines. In 2004, an electronic machine lost 4,500 votes when it just stopped recording them altogether.
Although no one has cried fraud yet, I've watched enough Scandal to know that this is 100 PERCENT A SABOTAGE. Don't you remember Defiance, Ohio? Somewhere Olivia Pope is having a glass of red wine with Fitz and giggling about all of this. You mark my words.
Although I have learned the lion's share of what I know about election rigging from Pope and Associates, there was one thing that the show got wrong: It's not hard to mess with voting machines. Researchers were able to install Pac-Man on voting machines without breaking the tamper seals, and while playing arcade games is generally more exciting than midterm elections, it is also terrifying.
In many states, the voting machine wouldn't have been an option. States are abandoning voting machines for old-school paper ballots. Voting machines more than a decade old are, unsurprisingly, getting pretty crusty, and many states don't have the funding to replace them.
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