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Vote-changing machine recalibrated after viral video

A YouTube video helped lead to the fixing of a buggy voting maching in Pennsylvania. 


Kris Holt


A voting machine in Pennsylvania was taken offline briefly after a video showing it changing an intended vote for Barack Obama to one for Mitt Romney hit Reddit’s front page.

The video, captured by YouTube user centralpavote, showed a voter’s finger tapping to select Obama several times, only for a check mark to appear next to Romney’s name. Several Republicans claimed machines conversely switched Romney votes to Obama.

NBC confirmed that the machine was changing votes, and it was taken out of service.

At the time of writing, the video is stuck at 309 views (a common occurrence on viral YouTube videos) and has more than 4,350 comments and 8,800 likes.

In the video’s description, centralpavote wrote that he was only able to vote for Obama by tapping a small section of the screen. When he raised concerns with a polling location volunteer, he was told, “It’s nothing to worry about, everything will be OK.”

Alas, it appears the wonky machine was repaired. A technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology told Gawker that it appeared to need recalibration. A short while after it was taken offline, Mother Jones reported the machine was back in action, apparent Romney bias excised.

Photo via centralpavote/YouTube

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