08:15 GMT31 May 2020
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    Early voters in several Texas counties have complained that voting machines are switching their vote for the opposite party immediately after they cast their vote. The Texas State Secretary is claiming that the problem is “user error.”

    Early voters in the southern US state of Texas have reported numerous cases of voting machines changing their vote or choosing no Senate candidate at all, The Hill reported Saturday.

    The report cites voters in several districts saying that when they select a button that allows voters to select all members of one party at once, it has, in some cases, chosen the opposite candidate or no candidate at all, specifically in the Senate race.

    "When I got to the end, I just so happened that I glanced at the screen, I saw Ted Cruz was selected as my senator," one voter who attempted to vote straight Democrat told reporters, cited by local news outlet Abc13.com.

    The Texas Democratic Party reportedly called the issue "a malfunction," saying it was causing Democrats to inadvertently vote for Republican Senatorial candidate Cruz and accused the secretary of state's office of not doing enough to warn voters of potential issues.

    The problem is reportedly happening on both sides fo the political fence.

    Fort Bend County authorities were not surprised by the issue, according to reports. County election administrator John Oldham said that he notified the Texas Secretary of State, Rolando Pablos, about the issue years ago, but the state since failed to take action.

    "It's not a glitch, it's a user-induced problem that comes from the type of system that we have," Oldham told ABC 13. "I think both sides could be equally hurt."

    However, Sam Taylor, a spokesman for Pablos, insisted the issue is user error, indicating that while the machines' vendor could have upgraded them, the state administration did not order the vendor to do so.

    "The Hart eSlate machines are not malfunctioning, the problems being reported are a result of user error — usually voters hitting a button or using the selection wheel before the screen is finished rendering," Taylor said.

    The State Secretary's office "has no legal authority whatsoever to force" voting machine vendors "to make upgrades if their voting systems are otherwise in compliance with federal state and law," Taylor added.

    These machines are used in an estimated 80 counties across the Lone Star state. Early voting in the state began Monday and has seen a strong turnout, according to Fox News.

    Republican Senator Ted Cruz addressed voters on the issue, urging them not to press "Next" until the "ballot has populated all of the selections."

    State Secretary spokesman Taylor said the office will "continue to educate Texas voters using existing resources […] and urge all Texans casting a ballot to take their time, slow down, and carefully review their ballot before casting one."


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    malfunction, vote, voting machines, 2018 midterm elections, Ted Cruz, Texas, United States
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