Voter ID laws are one important facet of ensuring the right to vote is protected, but it's hardly the only aspect of that fight to which we need to pay attention. Ensuring that our ballots are being counted properly is another vital front in the battle, and the state of Maryland is reminding us of its importance. There are reports across the state of voting machines changing Republican votes to Democratic ones. As Baltimore's CBS affiliate reports:
As Marylanders go to the polls, there are concerns that the vote you cast may not be for the candidate you want.
“We’ve heard from scores of citizens in our district and around the state who have had this problem where they hit one button to vote for one person, and when they go to the summary they see that the other person was checked,” said Del Nik Kipke, (R) Anne Arundel County.
Republicans say they’ve received several dozen reports of Republican votes being changed to Democrat.
Del. Kathy Szeliga says it happened to her.
“I kept pushing the Republican guy’s name and the machine kept going beep, beep, beep,” said Szeliga, (R) Baltimore & Harford Co.
The channel has also given us a video report on the story:
It's curious that some of the machines that were reported to have problems were out of service. It's entirely possible that these problems are merely accidental issues with calibration.
However, I'd also like to note that every instance of trouble with these voting machines that I recall seeing in the news involves turning Republican votes to Democratic ones, and they always seem to be in areas dominated by Democrats. It's never the other way around.
Maryland's not alone with these issues. A voting machine in the Chicago area--quelle surprise!--was also reported to have the same problem a few weeks ago. As with Maryland, it was attributed to a calibration error.
If these issues in the Old Line State are indeed an attempt to defraud the system, what might spur Democrats to do this? Aside from "because they can", there's evidence that the gubernatorial race between Democrat Anthony Brown and Republican Larry Hogan is tightening. The RGA recently dropped $200,000 into the race, and an internal poll from the Hogan campaign shows him down by only 1. Now, this is all best case scenario for the Republicans, as Maryland is still among the bluest of the blue states. The Republican wave might have to be on a nearly Lituya Bay scale for it to carry Hogan over the line, but if you're a Democrat with questionable morals, why take chances?
And if you're in Maryland, see if you can give Larry Hogan a little help. Make the Democrats fight for this one. The time and money they spend here is time and money that could be spent helping Democrats in other places.
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