Earlier this week we learned that early voting machines in Florida are changing votes cast for Mitt Romney into votes for President Obama. Since the Ohio incident, we've seen the same problem come up in Nevada, Kansas, North Carolina, Missouri, and Colorado. This has prompted the RNC to send an official letter request to election officials in all the states effected, asking for the problem to be investigated and fixed. From the letter:
Dear Election Officials:
I [John R. Phillippe, Jr. Chief Counsel] write regarding the media and citizen reports of voting machine errors taking place in your states. I understand that, in a significant number of cases, voting machines in your states have populated a vote for Barack Obama when a voter cast his or her ballot for Mitt Romney. I further understand that the causes of this problem are varied, and include miscalibration and hyper-sensitivity of the machines.
Accordingly, I request you immediately take the following actions to mitigate any potential machine errors:
1. Re-calibrate all voting machines on the morning of Election Day before the polls open, or, if necessary, the day before the election.
2. Make arrangements for additional technicians on Election Day in case of increased calibration problems.
3. Issue guidance requiring polling place officials to prominently post a sign reminding voters to double-check that the voting machine properly recorded their vote before final submission. This sign should also note that poll workers should be notified and can assist in the case of a voting machine error. (See, e.g., North Carolina State Board of Elections Numbered Memo 2012-24.)
4. Issue guidance requiring polling place officials to remind voters to double-check that the voting machine properly recorded their vote before final submission, and to note that poll workers should be notified and can assist in the case of a voting machine error. (See, e.g., North Carolina State Board of Elections Numbered Memo 2012-24.)
Even without the vote changing problem, voting in Ohio is already looking like a long and drawn out nightmare:
A new Ohio program intended to make voting easier could keep the presidential election in doubt until late November if the national outcome hinges on the state’s 18 electoral votes.
Under Secretary of State Jon Husted’s initiative to send absentee ballot applications to nearly 7 million registered voters across Ohio, more than 800,000 people so far have asked for but not yet completed an absentee ballot for the Nov. 6 election.
Anyone who does not return an absentee ballot, deciding instead to vote at the polls, will be required to cast a provisional ballot.
That’s so officials may verify that they did not vote absentee and also show up at the polls.
By state law, provisional ballots may not be counted until at least Nov. 17.