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article imageVideo: Is this voting machine in Pennsylvania altering votes?

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By David Silverberg     Nov 6, 2012 in Politics
One of the most popular videos on the online community reddit Tuesday shows a voting machine in the U.S. apparently malfunctioning. When the voter selects Barack Obama, the machine chooses Romney instead.
The video of a Pennsylvania voting machine allegedly altering a man's vote from Obama to Romney is surging on reddit and other sites. The voter, who replied to people's comments on reddit, explained what happened. Going by the name centralpavote, he said:
I initially selected Obama but Romney was highlighted. I assumed it was being picky so I deselected Romney and tried Obama again, this time more carefully, and still got Romney. Being a software developer, I immediately went into troubleshoot mode. I first thought the calibration was off and tried selecting Jill Stein to actually highlight Obama. Nope. Jill Stein was selected just fine. Next I deselected her and started at the top of Romney's name and started tapping very closely together to find the 'active areas'. From the top of Romney's button down to the bottom of the black checkbox beside Obama's name was all active for Romney. From the bottom of that same checkbox to the bottom of the Obama button (basically a small white sliver) is what let me choose Obama. Stein's button was fine. All other buttons worked fine.
He then asked the voters on either side of him if they had any problems and they reported they did not. He spoke to a volunteer to have a look at it. She replied, "It's nothing to worry about, everything will be OK" and went back to what she was doing. It was then that the voter decided to record the video and post it on YouTube.
The voting machine comes from the company iVotronic. Where this Pennsylvania voting machine irregularity takes place has yet to be determined.
Gawker interviewed Joseph Lorenzo Hall, Senior Staff Technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology, about the video. Hall said, "It's a concern but not because of fraud... that's an obviously miscalibrated iVotronic (ES&S) voting machine... we would recommend that poll workers would recalibrate the machine and everything would be fine. Also, with some models of voting system if you place a thumb on accident while resting on the machine it can "bias" the calibration of the touchscreen up towards the errant thumb. That could be happening to, if it's only for this one voter."
Across the U.S., reports are coming in of malfunctioning voting machines, from Ohio to Wisconsin to Indiana.
More than 25 percent of Americans are expected to cast their ballot by electronic machine in this election, the Washington Post writes.
Update: As reported here, "a Pennsylvania electronic voting machine has been taken out of service after being captured on video changing a vote for President Obama into one for Mitt Romney, NBC News has confirmed."
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