Texas started off its early voting on October 22, and there are numerous problems at the polls. Voters of both parties complained about the incident in which their ballots were mis-marked by the voting machine. The information was confirmed by Texas news station ABC13.
This is definitely an old issue. Secretary of State Rolando Pablos knew pretty much a lot about the problem for years. However, he took no action to solve the problem. According to him, this is just an operator error.
Houston voter Mickey Blake reported the issue after she tried to vote a straight Democrat ticket. She noticed that the vote meant for Beto O’Rourke was actually marked for Ted Cruz.
Her other straight Democrat votes were correct except the one for the senate race. “So she backed up and did it again. And again,” as reported by ABC13.
The voter reported the same problem after her third attempt.
Republican voters had a different problem. “Voters who select straight-party Republican unselect Sen. Cruz and wind up voting for no one. Either way, officials say it’s a rare issue that happens, but not to everyone,” ABC13 reported.
The Texas Tribune released an op-ed by Democrat Celia Israel according to which Texans knew about the problem with ballots and called for an improvement of the outdated system.
“In many of our counties, it’s like we are driving a 15-year-old vehicle down the highway that was meant to last no more than 10 years; it will leave us stranded if we don’t act quickly. We need a plan to find funding to replace voting machines and infrastructure that is more than a decade old. We cannot allow our counties to continue using antiquated voting systems in a state full of technological talent and innovation. We cannot afford for our voter rolls to be compromised or our machines to fail,” said the Democrat.
Sam Taylor, a spokesman for the secretary of state’s office, explained that the error comes from the voters, adding that everything is fine with the machines. “There have been reported issues with Hart eSlate voting machines, which are used in around 30 percent of counties statewide and feature a wheel for selecting candidates and buttons to move from screen to screen. But it says they are caused by voters themselves and often occur when they complete and submit ballots too quickly.”
“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.