Number of voting machine complaints in Georgia rising - CBS46 News

Number of voting machine complaints in Georgia rising

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Georgia's Secretary of State has now received a total of seven complaints during the early voting period.

Last week officials removed a voting machine in Bryan County to investigate a possible error. By Wednesday, Fulton, Pauling, Baldwin, Clayton, Cobb and Coweta counties had joined the list.

No official rulings have been made and it's not yet clear whether any voting machines have a true problem.

The Georgia NAACP told CBS46 it collectively received about 50 complaints related to machines switching votes from Clinton to Trump.

"We've gotten numerous complaints. I, myself, have gotten three different complaints from three different counties," said NAACP Atlanta Vice President Gerald Griggs.

But none of the local election directors seemed to be aware of it when CBS46 asked them about it. Every local official on the list in metro Atlanta contacted had no prior knowledge of any complaints in their county. There's also no explanation for why the number reported to the NAACP far exceeds the total the state is aware of.

"Maybe there's a disconnect with more people calling the NAACP instead of the Secretary of State," suggested Griggs. "But when they call us, we call him."

As CBS46 tried to get to the bottom of these discrepancies, we tried again to witness a machine recording the wrong vote on video. The first time we did the demonstration last Friday, we used a fake ballot with pretend questions. It did not behave abnormally. On Wednesday, we insisted on using a ballot with real names of real candidates, just like the ones the voters are seeing. But try as we might, we still couldn't get the machine to recreate any of the things that people have been complaining about.

Most of the voters we randomly checked with described the machines like this:

"Straight forward, easy to use, user-friendly."

No problems whatsoever?

"Not in my experience."

But we did find one man who says he noticed something unusual.

"Yes, some of the things were highlighted in red. They were. But I knew exactly who I was voting for and I just ignored it."

CBS46 asked, "Can you see anybody being confused into thinking the machine was selecting the candidate for them as what they voted?"

The voter agreed, "Yeah, it could be. It could be picked up like that."

The circumstance he described could not be duplicated while we experimented with the machine Wednesday, but the same observation was shared with the CBS46 newsroom by multiple people.

One woman from East Point said she distinctly remembered an 'X' in the box next to a candidate she did not pick when she voted Monday. She enlisted the help of a poll worker who erased the ballot and helped her start over. It's not clear if that incident is the same one the Secretary of State is investigating in Fulton County.

Cobb County's election director, Janine Eveler, wants the public to know, "The only way that we can make corrections or look at a machine that may be having a problem is if we're alerted to it when it's actually happening."

Voters who think their machine is not working properly should notify a poll worker before they've cast their vote.

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