#VerifyVotes: Vote flipping claims from Bryan County to Facebook appear to be fiction

VerifyVotes: Vote Flipping

On Thursday, a claim of vote flipping came out of a polling location in Bryan County, Georgia. The machine in question is no longer in use as an investigation is underway according to the Georgia Secretary of State's office.

What is vote flipping? It is when the voter selects a candidates name, perhaps Hillary Clinton for example and a checkmark appears next to her name. Then when the voter hits the button to submit their ballot, the computer changes their selection to Donald Trump for example.

The voter in Bryan County claims they tried selecting Clinton's name several times, but a checkmark appeared next to Trump's name.

In an interview with 11Alive, Secretary of State Brian Kemp said his office believes it is an issue with a single machine and not an example of vote flipping.

"It appears to be a calibration issue, which is something the county is responsible for, doing logic and accuracy testing to make sure the formatting on the screen is correct," Kemp said.  

Kemp said as of Thursday afternoon, more than 1 million votes have been cast during early voting and vote flipping hasn't been a problem.

The Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University works with each county election board to assist with calibrating machines and addressing other polling place issues. 

The center's executive director Merle King showed how a miscalibrated machine can impact voting.

"It appears to mark the candidate above it and that is a consequence of the miscalibration of this unit," King said as he tried to select the second candidate listed on a test ballot. 

There is also a Facebook post being reposted across the south alleging vote flipping

Here is a version of the post:

Hey everyone, just a heads up! I had a family member that voted this morning and she voted straight Republican. She checked before she submitted and the vote had changed to Clinton! She reported it and made sure her vote was changed back. They commented that It had been happening. She is trying to get the word out and asked that we post and share. Just want everyone's vote to be accurate and count. Check your vote before you submit!

A search on Facebook shows people from Atlanta, to Roswell, Hogansville and Dougherty have put that vague post, almost word for word, on their pages in the last several days. 

Local voting officials tell 11Alive they have seen the same message and say the problem isn't local and they have no claims or evidence of vote flipping. In fact, Fact-checking website Snopes.com shows the post originated in Texas but was proven to be false.

King said here in Georgia it also appears to be fiction and he said rumors of it come around every election.

"An election Halley's Comet. Rolls around about every four years," he said. "It is a perception, part of its myth, part of it is wishful thinking, part of it is just perhaps frustration on voters."

King said before you hit the button to cast your ballot, voters have the opportunity to review their selections. If anything is inaccurate you can always hit the back button and go through your ballot a second time.

His office advises counties to remove machines from use for the remainder of the election if there is a calibration issue. 

11Alive is investigating voter issues as they arise. If you know someone who has experienced an issue voting, tweet us #VerifyVotes.

%INLINE%


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment