Md. Board of Elections Probe Republican-To-Democratic Ballot Switch Claims

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Early voting just started last week in Maryland, but there are already accusations that some voting machines are changing Republican votes to Democrat. Now Republicans are calling for an investigation by the State Board of Elections.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the machine controversy.

As Marylanders go to the polls, there are concerns that the vote you cast may not be for the candidate you want.

“We’ve heard from scores of citizens in our district and around the state who have had this problem where they hit one button to vote for one person, and when they go to the summary they see that the other person was checked,” said Del Nik Kipke, (R) Anne Arundel County.

Republicans say they’ve received several dozen reports of Republican votes being changed to Democrat.

Del. Kathy Szeliga says it happened to her.

“I kept pushing the Republican guy’s name and the machine kept going beep, beep, beep,” said Szeliga, (R) Baltimore & Harford Co.

Now GOP leaders are calling for an investigation.

But the State Board of Elections tells WJZ they received less than 20 reports of calibration issues with machines.

Twelve have been thoroughly tested– and the problem could not be replicated.
The others are out of service.

Democratic candidate Anthony Brown says he’s confident the board will address all issues.

“I think we should always be vigilant to make sure that voters can cast a ballot and that it’s accurately recorded,” said Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, (D) Maryland.

In a statement to WJZ, board officials say “election officials receive similar reports in every election. Post-election analysis has shown that this is caused by voter error. Voters with large fingers or long nails or voters who hold the touchscreen with their palm resting on the screen seem to report this issue more frequently.”

The State Board of Election advises voters to find an election judge immediately if they have any problem with the machines.

Members of the state Republican Party are calling for the state Democratic Party to join them in calling for an investigation into the machines.

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