ANNAPOLIS, MD – Following reports of voting machines flipping votes from Republican candidates to Democrats, the Maryland State Board of Elections (SBOE) continues to pass the issue off on its website as “rumor.”
“The State Board of Elections has tried to dismiss these serious problems with the machines as ‘voter error,’ blaming them on everything from ‘large fingers’ to ‘long nails,’” said Hogan spokeswoman Erin Montgomery. “The Board of Elections cannot seriously suggest that these are cases of user error, when we have reports of voters trying four or five times to vote, and every time, their votes are switched from Republican to Democrat.”
There were 63 voting centers set up for early voting, which took place October 23-30. According toAssistant State Election Administrator Nikki Charlson, 31 machines were taken offline for technical reasons, including vote-flipping, frozen screens, and voter-card reader failure.
“Thirty-one malfunctioning machines is no laughing matter,” said Montgomery. “SBOE needs to admit to the faulty machine problem and work to solve these issues before the more than 16,000 voting machines go live on Tuesday. We must ensure a fair election process that accurately records the proper vote cast by every Marylander.”
The Hogan campaign has also called for signage to be prominently displayed at every voting center and on every machine, warning voters of the possibility of vote-switching and asking voters to double- and triple-check their votes before submitting them.
The Hogan campaign alone has received hundreds of reports of vote-flipping from voters in the following 15 counties, well over half the counties in the state: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Caroline, Dorchester, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s, St. Mary’s, Talbot, Washington, Wicomico, and Worcester.
“The State Board of Elections is not taking this issue seriously,” said Montgomery. “Thousands of voters throughout the state are at risk of being disenfranchised. Voters have the right to know that their votes are being cast the way they intended them to be cast. Even if one vote is cast differently than intended, it is one too many.”
She added, “We are calling on the Maryland State Board of Elections to post its toll-free number, which is 1-800-222-8683, inside every single voting booth throughout the state on Election Day, along with a warning that their vote could be flipped. As for voters, please be vigilant on Election Day and make sure your vote counts.”