Early voting for the 2014 midterm elections has begun, and as we saw last week, allegations of voter fraud have already begun to surface as well. Illinois Republican candidate Jim Moynihan reported difficulty with the machine he used in Schaumburg, IL. The problem? He selected GOP candidates, and the machine voted for Democrats instead. New reports surfaced over the weekend of similar problems in Maryland.
The possibility that a voting machine might record the wrong vote is troubling enough. Many people already feel that their votes don't really matter, and “calibration errors” such as these only make that problem worse.
But there is another question that troubles me: why are there no reports of voting machines that inexplicably choose the GOP candidate when the voter has selected the Democrat? Are we really expected to believe that Republican-biased machine problems exist in equal numbers and not one single Democrat-friendly media outlet has run with the information?
Realistically speaking, only two possibilities exist:
First, this could be intentional and heavily weighted toward Democrats. Not to go all conspiracy-theory, but the odds are that we're only hearing about machines that force people to vote Democrat because Republicans aren't engaging in that type of voter fraud - at least on so grand a scale.
And second, there have been instances of Republican-leaning voting machines and the stories have been buried. But this possibility brings us full circle - as the only reason to bury such a story is to perpetuate the talking point that “voter fraud doesn't exist” - a talking point you only need to be accepted by the general public if voter fraud is, in fact, something in which you yourself are deeply engaged.
Either way, I'd say you should watch your machines closely this election season.