2016 Election irregularities during early voting in Texas?
Concerned about election integrity? Have you heard about potential incidents of votes flipping on electronic voting machines? What if it happens to you?!? What do YOU do about it?
(Watch for updates at the bottom of the page.)
**DOUBLE CHECK YOUR BALLOT BEFORE CASTING YOUR VOTE**
If something doesn’t look right on the machine while you are voting:
- Call the Election Judge over immediately to address the issue. Problem solved? Great! No farther action needs to be taken. Not solved? See #2.
- Let the Election Judge know that you would like to report the irregularity. (Document the number of the troubled machine for reporting.) *Ask to cancel your vote on that machine and to vote on another machine.
What else should you do?
- Call your County Clerk to report the issue. Harris Co, Brazoria Co, Galveston Co…. Follow up.
- Call your County Republican Party office to report the issue and ask what their procedure is to resolve, or report, it. HCRP, GCRP, BCRP
- Call the RPT Election Integrity Hotline: 512-766-4597
- Report the incident to the TX Secretary of State.
- If you want to take it a step farther, report it to the TX Attorney General‘s office.
*Document, document, document! Who, what, when, where, and how…. then follow up.
Check out the Republican Party of Texas Ballot Integrity Manuel for more information!
Interested in being an Election Poll Watcher?
Alan Vera, Chairman of the HCRP Ballot Security Committee, is conducting training classes (open to anyone wanting to serve from SD11) and signing up poll watchers up until Monday, November 7th.
Can’t make the training? Check out the video! (Although it’s much better in person!)
Leave a comment for additional information.
How many friends, family members, church members, &/or neighbors can you get to the polls?
Watch for updates on this post … stay diligent #TeamSD11!
For God and For Texas,
Tanya Robertson, SREC SD11
*Update on Machines “Changing” Votes by Alan Vera (10/26/16)
Many of you have called expressing concern about 3rd party stories that electronic voting machines are systematically changing voters’ choices on the ballots. You’ve seen it on Facebook and received chain emails about alleged instances of the machines trying to thwart the will of the voters.
These stories are not new. They’ve been circulating for the last 3 presidential elections.
When we’ve traced them back as far as possible (given that the sources are usually untraceable), we’ve usually tracked the origins back to political groups campaigning to return to paper ballots.
If they can undermine voter confidence in electronic voting, they will have an easier time getting state legislatures to eliminate electronic voting and return to paper ballots—historically the ballot format MOST SUSCEPTIBLE TO FRAUD.
In research done by many election integrity groups, it seems that 99% of the stories cannot be verified. “Somebody” said it happened to them or to “a relative.” There are never corroborating testimonies from election judges or voter assistants to substantiate the claims.
Almost all of these claims appear to be false.
Now to Harris County
HARRIS COUNTY 2016 GENERAL ELECTION—REPORTED PROBLEMS
Out of nearly 130,000 people who voted in Harris County on October 24 & 25 we’ve had 6 Republicans call HCRP HQ to state that they had just experienced problems with the e-slate changing one of their intended votes.
Yesterday, I called and got detailed information from 5 of those 6 people. I asked them to walk me step by step through their experiences. .
I also interviewed 10 Republican voters who voted Monday or Tuesday and had no problems with the e-slates recording their votes correctly the first time. Here are my non-statistically-projectable findings of the different factors that seemed to affect the contrasting experiences. (Think of it as a focus group of voting experiences.)
1. Machines Not Acting Alone
None of the 5 voters with problems said that the machine acted alone in “changing their ballot selection.” In other words none of the voters said that they: 1) made a selection; 2) took their hands off the e-slate; and 3) watched as the e-slate changed their votes.
In every case, the voter had made a selection and then pressed another button. That’s logical. The e-slate only takes action when you press a button. It only marks or unmarks selections when it thinks that’s what you told it to do.
2. TWO-HANDED VOTING & PROBLEMS
All of the voters who had NO problems in their voting experience said they only used one hand to work the e-slate. Most of the voters who reported problems kept the index finger from their left hand on the e-slate wheel and the index finger from their right hand on the “Enter” button.
In the 5 elections I worked as an AJ in Precinct 327 in Sheila Jackson Lee’s CD 18, every voter problem with the e-slate “changing a vote” was caused by the voter inadvertently moving the wheel slightly when pressing the “Enter” button. As soon as the presiding judge and I instructed the voter to take their finger off the wheel and then press Enter, the problem disappeared.
3. NEXT PAGE BUTTON AND PROBLEMS
All the voters who reported problems with their votes used the “Next Page” button to advance through the ballot after they voted for President or straight party ticket. All of the voters who reported NO problems said they advanced through the ballot using the wheel, not the Next Page button.
If you combine #2 with #3 it’s possible that both index fingers are giving the e-slate instructions without you realizing it.
I should point out that yesterday around noon I asked the Harris County Clerk’s office to try to replicate problems with the “Next Page” button. They responded immediately and reported back that they could NOT re-create any problem with that sequence.
4. ENTHUSIASTIC DOUBLE CLICKING
Three of the five voters who reported problems admit that they might have double clicked the “Enter” button when they voted for President or straight party.
You double-click the mouse on your computer. You DO NOT double click anything on the e-slate. On the e-slate the first click makes a selection; the second click cancels that selection. If you hold the “Enter” button down too long, there’s no telling what might happen,
5. SUMMARY PAGE IS KEY
Every voter who reported problems praised the value of the summary pages that let them review all their ballot choices before pressing “Cast Ballot.”
After correcting the vote(s) that they didn’t want, each was happy that their correct votes were reflected on the summary pages BEFORE they finally cast their ballot.
All of the voters who reported problems were ultimately confident that their vote was cast as they intended. They were simply unhappy about the hassle they experienced.
In my 7 years working elections in Harris County I’ve never seen a voter leave the polling place unhappy that the Hart equipment used by Harris County had permanently changed their vote.
Machine Failure: Once in 7 years I’ve seen an e-slate machine go bad and not carry out the voter’s instructions. After the presiding judge and I tried everything we could, we cancelled the booth, took that e-slate out of service and called the County Clerk to replace that machine. That was rare.
The voter was allowed to vote on a fully functioning e-slate and left the polling place satisfied.
Please understand that on a national level, people and groups spreading stories about machines changing ballots have an ulterior motive—returning to unreliable paper ballots. Understand the motive before you swallow the story.
When you vote in Harris County on an e-slate, it’s better to work the e-slate with only one hand. That avoids the possibility that you’re inadvertently “telling” the e-slate to do something you didn’t intend.
And since the e-slate wheel only “tells” the computer to move your cursor (not any other selection command), it’s probably easier to advance through the ballot with the wheel than with the “Next Screen” button.
Don’t double-click any button on the e-slate.
Check your summary vote page carefully before pressing the “Cast Ballot” button. Make sure you didn’t make an error manipulating the e-slate.
And remember, your vote is much more secure with these systems than it would be with paper ballots.
Alan D. Vera
Chairman, HCRP Ballot Security Committee