POLITICS
10/31/2014 03:30 pm ET Updated Oct 31, 2014

Officials: No, Illinois Voting Machines Are Not Fixed For Democrats

Some people taking advantage of early voting in Illinois have alleged that electronic touchscreen voting machines are registering their selections of Republican candidates as votes for Democrats -- but elections officials say calibration errors to blame for the issue have been pointed out before incorrect votes are cast.

The latest allegations stem from a voter at the Moline public library who claimed that when she pushed the button on her machine for Republican congressional candidate Bobby Schilling, the machine registered her selection as U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, a Democrat.

According to WQAD, the voter flagged down an election judge to help her redo her choice after she noticed the issue. Her vote for Schilling went through as intended on the second try.

A video posted to YouTube this week purports to show similar issues with choices made at the Moline Public Library polls; it has been viewed over 450,000 times as of Friday morning. Some commenters have questioned the angle at which the video is shot.

In response to the complaint, Rock Island County Clerk Karen Kinney told KWQC that machines in Moline have already been re-calibrated while election judges from both parties were present. Officials will continue to monitor for any other issues with the machines, she said.

Jim Moynihan, a Republican state representative candidate, claimed similar voting machine issues were present in suburban Chicago. Moynihan told the conservative blog Illinois Review that when he attempted to vote for himself at the public library in Schaumburg on Oct. 22, the machine selected his Democratic opponent instead. He said the same thing happened when he voted in other races.

CBS Chicago reported the machine Moynihan was using was taken out of service after he was able to register his correct ballot -- and that the votes he had not intended were never registered. A Cook County Clerk spokeswoman told the station only a handful of voters out of tens of thousands had reported any issues voting in suburban Chicago and that any such issues should be immediately reported to election judges at polling places.

Similar issues have been reported in Maryland, but election officials there also say calibration or voter errors are to blame, and that isolated complaints about the machines arise every election and are promptly addressed.

It does not appear that any votes in Maryland or Illinois have actually been cast for unintended candidates after any calibration issues have been brought to officials' attention, though Republicans in the states contend voters not paying close attention could make an unnoticed error.

The voting machine allegations prompted the Illinois Republican Party to issue a "voting fraud alert" robocall on Thursday, the Capitol Fax blog reported.

"Don’t let the Democrats steal this election," said a recording by Tim Schneider, Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, according to Capitol Fax. "Get out and vote, and help us stop voter fraud."

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