Memorize or store in your phone the number for the Election Protection Hotline in case you or someone you know experiences any irregularities while voting or trying to vote:
Texas voting machines streamline voting by allowing voters to select a straight D or R party ticket, as noted here. As I understand it, the voter can modify individual selections before casting the vote. However, some voters who select Team Blue are getting an unwelcome surprise — the screen for verifying the selections showed that their vote for Senator was flipped to Ted Cruz:
The author notes that she overrode one of the down-ticket selections, but that shouldn’t have changed her vote for Senator. The Twitter thread has been growing with more instances of people’s votes getting flipped. Just a few:
She wasn’t the only one this happened to, though; this article cites two more people who experienced the same behavior, and includes many more details like this:
The Secretary of State calls it 'operator error.'
"We've heard from voters over a number of elections about this," said Ft. Bend County Election Administrator John Oldham.
[…] He even told the Secretary of State about it years ago and it's still happening.
It’s an informative article; if you know any Texas voters, send it to them!
So they’re doing something about this, right? Eh, not so much, even though Oldham also said that after multiple attempts, he was able to replicate the issue in his offices. But why?
Sam Taylor, at the Texas Secretary of State's office, tells 13 Investigates the problem is "user error" and not something their office could fix. Taylor suggests a vendor could or should handle any upgrades, but the state has not asked vendors to do so.
In other words, it’s the voter’s fault! And although the problem could be alleviated by getting the machines upgraded and serviced, why spend state money on it? Just rely on voters to notice their vote was flipped and correct it by going back 16 screens 😒
As the saying goes, I’m old enough to remember 2016, when this happened in multiple states that use electronic voting machines. Use paper ballots!
Texas Democrats are trying to pressure the SoS to do at least the following*:
- Launch a statewide public service announcement to inform voters on broadcast and cable television in multiple languages.
- Launch a comprehensive voter information program in multiple languages through radio, digital, and print advertisements.
- Train poll workers to verbally remind voters to double-check their ballot.
- Post additional signs reminding voters to check their ballots before submitting.
- Log all instances of machine malfunction.
- Remove malfunctioning machines.
* Texas Secretary of State replies LOL in 3… 2… 1…
Let Texas voters know to double-check their ballot before they press the red Cast button!
Updating to add some links about what states are doing for the midterms. The answer: not much, and definitely not enough. States have already been allocated $380M to shore up their election systems. As this article notes, most states did not plan to upgrade their systems for the midterms. In fact, most states didn’t plan any new measures for November, according to this. And this detailed post from Pro Publica lists how each state chose to spend its share, if known.