Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: A Texas woman who cast her vote for all Democratic candidates discovered her ballot marked for Bush/Cheney.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2004]
Origins: As political rumors and tales of wrongdoing go, this one is a bit of an odd duck in that while everything reported in the widely circulated alert is true, the underlying message of the piece — that someone or something has been deliberately tampering with the election process for the nefarious purpose of guaranteeing a win for a particular political party — isn't.
In 2004, some of those voting in the advance polls held in Travis County, Texas, experienced an unusual result: after selecting the straight Democratic ticket, the ballot summaries subsequently displayed on their screens indicated they were about to vote for
As well as the candidates' names, a referendum item for a
The Travis County Clerk’s Office issued an official statement about the
When pressing enter after marking a straight-party vote, it appears that a handful of voters have inadvertently turned the select wheel to highlight the first position of the presidential race and then hit the enter button, which selects orThankfully, a ballot summary page appears on the screen before the ballot is cast, which gives those using the eSlate machines a chance to review their selections before making them final. Those who had experienced such a shift were able to get the matter straightened out and so cast their votes for their candidates of choice.
News accounts about the machines that produced this effect indicated they had since been taken out of service in Travis County so as to not contribute to further polling confusion on election day, but we've since heard from a voter in that district that he cast his ballot on one such mechanical marvel subsequent to the supposed removal. However, whatever the status of the machines, when the problem surfaced at those advance polls, it didn't amount to the widespread scourge one might have thought it would have been: out of the approximately 70,000 who cast their ballots by
Barbara "machina ex deus" Mikkelson
Last updated: 2 November 2004
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