Voter claims polling issues exist in Central Texas - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Voter claims polling issues exist in Central Texas

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)

A woman in Hewitt says she experienced voting issues when she tried to early vote at a local polling location.

Suzette Lockwood said she went to Brazos Meadows Baptist Church to cast her vote. She said she found an error before she submitted her ballot.

"My intention was to vote straight party so I selected straight party," Lockwood said. "I wanted to scroll through and make sure all of the boxes were checked and they were checked and they were all checked other than the president."

Lockwood said she then tried to get help from someone working at the poll.

"He assisted me and he said 'I think we're being hacked,'" she said.

Kathy VanWolfe serves as the McLennan County Elections Administrator, and she said that there is no way the system could have deselected the choice for president on its own. 

"I think what they're doing is they're making their straight party [choice], then they're going down to the presidential race and they're trying to make sure that that vote is marked," VanWolfe said. "[But} they're actually deselecting [their choice]."

There have been rumors circulating online that people trying to early vote have seen their choice for president change on its own. VanWolfe said that is also impossible and that the problem likely comes from user error.

"When you deselect and change your straight party vote a screen comes up that says you're changing your vote," VanWolfe said. "So, I think when they see that they start hitting these other buttons and then they're accidentally voting for the other candidate."

VanWolfe also said there is no way the polling system could have been hacked -- despite what Lockwood said a poll worker told her about believing the system was hacked. 

"These are standalone. They're not connected to the Internet at all," VanWolfe said. "There's no way to hack them."

The official also said that the equipment used has been certified to work.

"All of this equipment was tested. It's certified on both the state level and federal level," VanWolfe said. "We voted on the equipment, we checked all the equipment before it went out -- there were no errors, we can't duplicate anything that anyone is talking about: it just doesn't happen."

Lockwood said that blaming the alleged problems on human error is not an acceptable explanation.

"I'm not saying I couldn't make an error, but there's somebody there standing over my shoulder and they saw the problem too," she said. "I feel a little, or quite a bit of uncertainty about this whole process."

VanWolfe said that no matter how a person is voting, it is important to carefully review the summary page before casting a ballot.

"Don't hit the cast ballot button until the ballot's exactly how you want it," she said. 

Early voting ends on November 4. 

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