Reported glitch in WL voting machines

Several people say electronic voting machines at the West Lafayette Pay Less are defaulting to Republican candidates even though they're clicking the Democrat's box.

Posted: Oct 29, 2018 7:03 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Several West Lafayette voters said when they clicked on the Democratic candidate, their voting machine selected the Republican option instead.

Those we talked to were able to fix the problem but they worry about those who may not have noticed.

"It happened two or three times," said West Lafayette voter Sheila Rosenthal. 

"I tried it several times," stated her husband, Frank. 

"There was definitely some kind of an issue with the touch screen on that machine," commented Steve Moss. 

All three voters went to the West Lafayette Pay Less to cast their ballots over the weekend. When they tried to click on a Democratic candidate, it marked the Republican one instead. Same thing with the public question at the top of the ballot.

"Kept pressing the yes to get the yes to go away, and then finally I was able to enter my no vote," said Frank Rosenthal. 

On the current ballot, Republicans are listed first and Democrats are listed second.

"It's determined by the votes for Secretary of State, that race determines the ballot order," explained Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey. 

But some Democrats worry that order could go in the Republican candidates's favor if people aren't careful.

"The reality is that not everyone is diligent," said Frank Rosenthal. 

But Christa Coffey said voters should be. 

"We can only do so much," said Coffey. 

Tippecanoe County Election Board Chairman Randy Vonderheide said they tested all of the machines at the West Lafayette Pay Less but were unable to confirm the problem.

"We could not demonstrate or simulate the complaint, the equipment was properly calibrated and seemed to be functioning as it's required to function," said Vonderheide. 

Those who say they experienced it, aren't convinced. They would like to see these machines replaced before the next election. Right now, the next update is scheduled for 2021.

"I think that's too far away," said Moss. "That's several elections from now."

"I don't know why we have to wait until then," said Sheila Rosenthal. 

Coffey said when to update the machines will be a question for the next county clerk. Right now, she said your best bet is to review your ballot before you click cast.

"Because once you hit cast ballot, there's nothing we can do to resolve the issue," said Coffey. 

So far, the issue has only been reported at the West Lafayette Pay Less site.

Coffey said don't be afraid to ask for help if you experience any problems during the voting process.

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