‘Vote Flipping’ Reports Called Voter Error

      DALLAS (CN) – Texas officials Thursday denied Donald Trump’s claim that voting machines are flipping straight-ticket Republican votes to Democrats, calling any such cases voters’ errors.
     Trump posted on Twitter than he was getting “a lot of call-ins about vote flipping” during early voting in Texas.
     “People are not happy. BIG lines,” he tweeted. “What is going on?”
     Trump insists the presidential election is being “rigged” for Hillary Clinton, and has refused to say he will accept the results.
     Trump’s tweet came three days after early voting began in Texas. One woman in Arlington complained on Facebook that a family member tried to vote straight-party Republican but the votes were changed to Democratic.
     “She reported it and made sure her vote was changed back,” Shandy Clark posted on Facebook. “They commented that it had been happening.”
     Clark’s post had been shared more than 208,000 times by Thursday evening.
     Frank Phillips, elections administrator in Tarrant County, told ABC-affiliate WFAA-TV that his office received two complaints on Monday and one involved a Trump vote being switched to Clinton. He said the case was resolved when the vote was voided. The voter was sent to another machine and a technician found no problems with the original machine.
     “Typically, we’ve found it’s voter error with the equipment,” Phillips said. “Sometimes they vote straight party and then click on another candidate. … There is not an issue with the equipment.”
     A second woman, in Randall County, near Amarillo, posted Monday on Facebook about a similar error.
     “I noticed that the Republican straight ticket was highlighted, however, the Clinton/Kaine box was also highlighted,” Lisa Houlette posted. “I tried to go back and change and could not get it to work. I asked for help from one of the workers and she couldn’t get it to go back either. It took a second election person to get the machine to where I could correct the vote to a straight ticket.”
     Shannon Lackey, elections administration for Randall County, flatly denied claims of vote flipping.
     “It is not happening in any way, shape or form,” she told CNN on Thursday. “I stand 100 percent behind what I do. I stand behind my machines, my staff.”
     Lackey told the Amarillo Globe-News that what probably happened involved the machines allowing for crossover votes. The capability allows a voter to select a straight-ticket ballot but change the vote on individual races down the ballot.
     “All of our machines are state- and federal-certified,” Lackey told the newspaper. “Other states use them, and they are used in many other counties in Texas. We can prove it [a machine] hasn’t been tampered with. We do extensive testing; the machine can’t change votes. It wasn’t anything on purpose from either side, but we are glad to clear the air on the issue.”
     Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner confirmed that there was one reported incident of irregularity in neighboring Randall County, but that the ballot was canceled and the voter allowed to vote on another machine.
     “I urge the voters to take the opportunity to review their ballot before they hit the vote button,” Tanner told the Globe-News. “As everyone knows, our fingers don’t always do what our brain tells them.”
     Texas Secretary of State Carlos Cascos said Wednesday his staff is monitoring reports of voting machine errors but “have yet to receive any verified reports of machines changing votes.”
     Gov. Greg Abbott joined the discussion Tuesday when he urged voters to double-check their confirmation screens when voting.
     “If you select a straight-party vote but then highlight the name of a candidate and press Enter, you could remove the selection for that candidate,” Abbott posted on Facebook. “Make sure all of your selections are correct before hitting the button to cast a ballot.”

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