Voting machine slippage

Atlanta, GA (CBS46)

It's a problem no one wants to have happen. You vote for one candidate but the machine claims you voted for someone else.

Pamela Grimes was so excited to vote for her candidate for governor. So why did the voting machine in Bartow County show she had selected the other candidate?

She went back to the previous page and had to re-do it three times.

My thoughts were, oh my gosh. What just happened?” said Grimes. “Like, I know that I pushed the right box. And I had to press around the box. I did not press directly into that square. It was not removing that "x".”

She told a poll worker and then left.

“I didn't wait to see. Shame on me,” continued Grimes. “So I don't know whatever happened.”

So CBS46 investigated and asked the Bartow County Elections Supervisor, Joseph Kirk, about it.

“That is a calibration error on the voting machines,” Kirk told CBS46 News. “The thing to remember is, this is older technology. These have been around since 2002. Remember palm pilots? You had to calibrate the screen of a palm pilot. The machines are no different.”

Kirk says they calibrate every voting machine before it is used. But, sometimes, the machines need re-calibration. He also says, sometimes, the voter's height can be a factor.

“Sometimes, the screens are set at a certain angle, depending on how tall you are, your view changes a little bit,” said Kirk.

Kirk says the machine in question was re-calibrated Wednesday morning as soon as he heard about the issue. He also tells voters to take their time:

“I know there's a long line. But don't feel rushed. That's your time at the machine. That's your time to make your voice heard,” said Kirk.

As for Pamela, she has her own advice for voters.

“Say something. Speak up. Don't be afraid.”

Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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