Polls show the Maryland Gubernatorial race between Democrat Anthony Brown and Republican Larry Hogan is extremely close, with the most recent poll showing a 2-point race, well within the margin of error. With the race so tight, every vote counts. But there is growing concern that every vote counted might not be how every vote was cast.
Early voting is underway across Maryland, and issues with the voting machines are being reported from throughout the state. (RELATED: Vote For Republicans In Chicago Automatically Changed To Democrats)
So far 20 complaints have been registered of instances where voters using touchscreen machines say their vote for a Republican was automatically switched to the Democrat. Of the 20 complaints, election officials report, “Twelve of those machines were thoroughly tested and the issue could not be replicated. The remaining eight units were taken out of service.”
One voting official referred to the machines automatically switching votes as a “calibration issue.” Curiously, there hasn’t been a single report of votes being switched from Democrat to Republican in the heavily blue state, so “calibration issues” seem to only go in one direction.
WBAL TV reports, “State election officials said similar complaints are filed during every election and post-election reviews indicate it’s usually caused by voter error.” Still, with eight of 20 machines having actual errors that require them to be “taken out of service,” that’s a 40 percent error rate not being “voter error” when a complaint is lodged.
Chief Democratic Judge Denise Isaac assures voters, “When they’ve completed, the machine reviews everything they’ve voted so they can see, they can check and make any changes that they want. The final vote is not cast until that person has a chance to look at everything that they’ve voted and they make their final decision.”
But a voter has to be paying close enough attention to notice the error in the first place to correct it, let alone to lodge a complaint. Many voters could touch their chosen candidate, notice it registered for the other candidate, try to switch it and have it work. How many voters don’t notice could be the difference-maker.