By and large electronic voting machines work as designed. The candidate you intend to select is the candidate that the vote will credit to. However, it’s pure naivety to believe that errors won’t occur given the sheer size of the election process. Already right next door in Chambers County the voting machines were not acting properly. The problem was promptly corrected, but serves to show that innocent errors occur. Video shows votes being switched, and it’s likely a machine error rather than malicious intent. However, it’s proof that vote switching is occurring. So what should you do if there’s an error on the machine you try to use?
First, let the poll worker know. It’s likely an innocent mistake and can be corrected. Most instances of machine error are the result of user error. The most important consideration is making sure that the candidate you intend to vote for is the candidate who receives your vote. Make sure you get the name of the worker you spoke with.
Second, document the error. Without documentation of the error it’s not possible to know the scope of the issue. In Texas it’s illegal to record in the voting booth so don’t make a video recording of the incident. Rather, make an unsworn declaration under penalty of perjury. The form you use will depend on if you are voting in a federal or state level election. In federal elections 28 U.S. Code 1746 applies. Simply write out:
Pursuant to 28 U.S. Code 1746 I declare, under penalty of perjury, that the foregoing is true and correct:
<Description of occurrence. Name of person the error was reported to. Resolution offered to you.>
Executed on <Date>
Remember, this is done under penalty of perjury, and a false statement is illegal and can land you in serious legal trouble.
If the election is a state level election the same concept applies as set forth in the Civil Practices and Remedies Code, Chapter 132, and the form is:
“My name is __________ _________ ____________, my
(First) (Middle) (Last)
date of birth is _________________, and my address is
_____________, ____________, _________, ____________,
(Street) (City) (State) (Zip Code)
and __________________. I declare under penalty of
perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.
Executed in _______ County, State of ________, on the ________ day of ________, ________.
Insert the same information as for the federal form here
Third, make three copies of the unsigned form and sign all but the original. Send a signed copy to 1) the county clerk 2) the state Secretary of State, and 3) the candidate who you intended to vote for. Keep the unsigned original in case you need to copy and sign to submit the document to anyone else.
Fourth, trust that the system works as intended.
Errors will occur. It’s not a sign of a rigged election. If no errors would occur in such a large scale endeavor that would be cause for alarm. However, it is important to document the errors. Not because the election is rigged, but to assess the scope of the problem.
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