Video: PA voting machine, push “Obama,” get “Romney”

Oh, but don’t worry – they’ve “fixed” it already and it’s back in use.

Nice that they can “fix” voting machines in no time at all and change who they vote for.  Very reassuring that this is the way we vote in this country.

From MSNBC (especially reassuring is how the poll watcher didn’t do anything about it initially):

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.

I asked the voters on either side of me if they had any problems and they reported they did not. I then called over a volunteer to have a look at it. She him hawed for a bit then calmly said “It’s nothing to worry about, everything will be OK.” and went back to what she was doing. I then recorded this video.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QJZBO2KVABQ5XVWC57UTGHYAWY terry60yearlionsfan

    So now that the election is over will Romney get ousted on his taxes

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QJZBO2KVABQ5XVWC57UTGHYAWY terry60yearlionsfan

    We all know if the repubs hadn’t cheated Romney would have got the 1% of the vote he deserved.

  • Butch1

    How many other people had this same problem and didn’t notice that they were voting for Romney instead? Interesting.

  • nobonesl

    I believe thousands of tea-bagger church groups are doing the GOP’s dirty work at polling stations around the country, throwing away Dem votes, turning likely Dem voters away on shaky grounds, etc.

    Am I alone in my suspicion?

    THINK about it, people!

  • nobonesl

    When are we EVER going to read about an instance of a voting machine
    registering “Obama”, over and over again, even though the voter is trying 
    to vote for Romney? Oh I get it—NEVER.
    Election cheating has a name: GOP.

    We ignore the 1-sidedness of the cheating and suppression at our nation’s peril.

  • 2patricius2

    That happened to me when I voted early on a touch screen machine. I don’t know that it was the machine. After getting rid of the x next to Romney’s name, I was more careful with pressing the box by Obama and all the other people for whom I wanted to vote. No further problems. The printout of the candidates I selected came out correct. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/3X6VYZWVWDXFJ6FWB5AABKXBIM Lorrellei

     Even scales for weight need to be calibrated at my Dr’s. office.

  • nicho

    So even the machine can’t see any difference between them.

  • nicho

    So even the machine can’t see any difference between them.

  • Lorrellis

     It is on my local news, so it was checked and found to be true by NBC.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YHDZXNPETOBBIX7LXHUJBXDVQA Andy J

    Republicans rush to assure us not to worry, not to worry. Well, I AM worried. I bet that there are also other machines giving Dem votes to Romney in PA and in FL. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OAHE26PWTAEX5OMKYEAYPSTOSU Doodelay

    Romney has no limits 

  • UncleBucky

     You DID read the disclaimer and the offer to show the source video?

    Or you are a… ;O)

  • Gerard Hasselbach

    And who manufactures these voting machines? and just how many have to be a little off to change the final tally?  Why was Romney listed first? Alphabetical by name? Alphabetical by party? Incumbant first?

  • FLL

    I wish I wasn’t able to say this, but it isn’t just Florida anymore. Voter suppression by GOP thugs is a reality that we’ve seen in recent news articles about Ohio, and now Pennsylvania. Any swing state is fair game for this kind of criminal activity. There needs to be some legal accountability after the election for documented instances of voter suppression. I got an absentee ballot a few weeks ago and just dropped it off at the Supervisor of Elections, and so did a lot of people I know because they saw this coming. Best regards from Fort Lauderdale.

  • MyrddinWilt

    The display component outputs the boxes, the digitizer determines the finger press. In the systems used in the voting machines, they are two separate systems and the digitizer needs to be calibrated to the display.

    This is a mess. It is a hard problem. It is also not just a problem here in the US. There have been questions about electronic voting in many countries.

    Remember that the purpose of an election is to persuade one side that they lost and thus should pass power to another party. Electronic voting is badly compromised in that respect.

    My preference is for paper and pencil and a purely manual count. Which is what we do in the UK. But that is not possible when the ballot has thirty races all the way down to dog catcher.

    Now I am currently at the IETF (one of the Internet standards bodies) and we are having our social this evening and will be discussing the results. Some of the people in the security area work on electronic voting systems.

    Right now the stance has been ‘just don’t do that’. I have to wonder if we have to change and start looking at this in a different way.

    Apple, Google, Microsoft all have significant hardware divisions right now, they all have world class security expertise and they do all have a commitment to the social interest.

    iPad, Android and Surface are all going to be tolerably cheap in the near future. They can at least be configured with locked down operating systems. So in the ideal polling station of the future maybe you pick up the tablet of your choice and take it to the booth. So even if you don’t trust Google then you have the choice of the Microsoft input device.

  • TonyT

    I’m suspicious of this video. Looks like there could be edits.

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    Good point as I have some experience in programming.

    Have ya ever heard of the term “fuckin’ idiot” when it comes to conservatives?

  • cole3244

    tamra on msnbc just reported the machine was taken offline did not report the poll worker initially wasn’t concerned, are all the msm just brain dead or what. 

  • http://twitter.com/BillFromDover Bill from Dover

    Seriously, are ya all that confident that the software needs to be calibrated to know where the extent of boxes lie? Fer, Christ sake, the software has to displays/paint the boxes so don’t tell me that it doesn’t recognize the borders of them!

    Ya calibrate a newton short tube telescope”, not software!

  • penpal

    And when can we expect to see Democrats enact national voter’s rights regulations that will standardize the accessibility of the polls to all Americans?  When pigs fly?  How long do we have to put up with multiple-hour-long lines, varying standards of registration, outdated procedures, and Republican suppression? 

    Until voting is made easy and accessible to all people, we will never have true Democracy.  Republicans, of course, know this.  

  • http://adgitadiaries.blog-city.com karmanot

    My god you caught the fraud! Did you register a complaint?

  • MyrddinWilt

    Actually there are some comments on another blog claiming that this happened to Romney at a pre-voting site. But I am not currently able to find the reference.

    What is a big difference between the two camps is that we get worked up about all forms of electoral malpractice, bias, fraud. The Republicans get very worked up about a tiny number of anecdotes and use them to make the case for voter suppression laws.

    The US needs to fix electronic voting so that people can have confidence in the result or stop using it entirely.

    The problem here is that the voting machine was faulty but the staff were not concerned.

    One of the recommendations for use of voting machines is that they should randomize the order in which the candidates are displayed. This has two major advantages, first it avoids the bias that comes from the ‘donkey vote’ where people just vote for the first candidate in order. Second it ensures that if there is a fault in the machine such as a miss-calibrated touch screen, the effects should even out.

    But the bigger problem with electronic voting is that we really can’t be sure that the votes cast by the voters are what are actually counted.

  • UncleBucky

    New technology. P.A.P.E.R. or nothing.

  • HereWeGoAgain

    Isn’t it amazing that any time this is reported it is never pushing the Republican candidate counts towards the Democrat? Always the other way around. If it was simple computer malfunctions, it would happens both ways.

  • DKarma

     because if it does it on the back end the source code can be examined and prove that it was intentionally rigged for romney.  if the size of the boxes are the only difference it is much more easy to claim user error and more difficult to prove intent….

  • Guest

    Lying for the Lord.

  • basenjilover

    Move on.  Nothing to see or do.  Americans… corrupt to the core.  DOJ isn’t going to do anything because Obama did not replaced the Bush holdovers.

  • StratRat

    If this cheating doesn’t get the attention it deserves, the American experiment can be deemed a failure. If your vote cannot be counted the way it was cast, then why all the other fake ‘American exceptionalism’ BS?

  • Naja pallida

    I don’t know, its hard to deny direct video, but I find this rather fishy. If someone was intentionally programming the machine to create fraudulent votes, why would they ever show it to the end-user? It would be much easier, and much less likely to ever be noticed by anyone, if you just flip the bit in the background. Make the voter think their vote worked just fine, but electronically they voted for the other guy. You know, like what has happened in the past two federal elections.

  • Indigo

     That would be one of the Bain machines?

  • kingstonbears

    And so it starts. Why are we not surprised?

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