Virginia politicians warn of possible vote switching on electronic machines

Voting machines in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia could be doing the same thing machines in states like Illinois and Maryland have — switching electronic votes from Republican to Democrat.

According to Rep. Scott Rigell, the Republican incumbent running against Suzanne Patrick in the 2nd District, multiple voters have reported their electronic voting machines have selected the candidate of the other party when they tap their choice. A video taken in Virginia Beach seems to show the electronic machine selecting Patrick, the Democrat, when the voter clearly taps the machine to choose Rigell.

According to WAVY Channel 10 in Hampton Roads, voters in the precincts of Bayside, Great Neck, Stratford Chase, Acredale, Colonial, Centerville, Alanton, Witchduck, Sherry Park, Homestead and Great Run have reported these sorts of irregularities.

Rigell held a press conference over the concerns Tuesday morning.

“We have received numerous, credible reports of poll machine irregularity at voting precincts in Virginia’s Second Congressional District,” Rigell said in a statement. “This is very troubling. It is critical that every voter verifies the final summary page before pushing the ‘cast ballot’ option.” has reached out to the Virginia Beach Registrar’s Office, and is waiting on a response.

Representatives from the Virginia Department of Elections said they are aware of the matter, and that malfunctioning machines were taken out of operation immediately.

“These technical difficulties are being addressed by both localities’ teams of voting equipment technicians in conjunction with AccuVote vendors,” reads a news release from the Department of Elections. “Based on discussions with local election officials, the issues appear related to touch screen calibration.”

The Department of Elections did not say whether all complaints were switches from Republican to Democrat, or whether voters experienced problems both ways.

Republican Sen. Jeff McWaters of Virginia Beach took to Facebook to warn his constituents, too.

“ALERT!! Voting machine errors reported at the polls,” McWaters posted on his Facebook page. “Please double check your voting summary to make sure your votes are correct before submitting.”


By Kathryn Watson |, Virginia Bureau


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