Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump, has been claiming for weeks that the presidential election is “rigged.” He also said during the third and final debate with Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, that he would not commit to accepting the outcome of this election. He later qualified that by saying that he would accept the results “if he wins.”
So Trump is shouting “rigged!” And now, with early voting that began in Texas on Monday, some Texas voters are reporting that their electronic ballots “flipped” when they voted a straight Republican ticket and right before they submitted the ballot, noticed that in the presidential vote had been flipped to Clinton/Kaine.
It was first reported by Lisa Houlette, a resident of Randall County, on her Facebook page. It was just basically a warning to everyone to be sure and check their ballots before they hit “submit.” Since then, there have been similar reports from other Texas counties with the same issue.
Local election officials for the most part have said that the machines have been perfectly calibrated, so there is no problem. Hmm. Well, it sure looks like SOME folks had a problem. And this is just the early voting stage, who knows what Nov. 8 will look like.
At this point, changing or upgrading the system is not an option this late in the game. In a New York Times report, the Department of Justice has made some recent extreme cuts to the number of federal poll monitors they would deploy, so requesting a poll monitor at this point would really be futile.
It’s an incredibly frustrating issue for American voters, and has a serious impact on their psyche about voting. If they feel like the election might be rigged, some will decide it’s just not worth voting at all. Then there are the millions of others who will vote, but who have no confidence that their vote wasn’t wasted.
It’s an issue that Congress really needs to address in the coming term. But for now, it’s probably best just to heed the warning of Lisa Houlette: “Be careful and double check your selections before you cast your final vote! Don’t hesitate to ask for help.” Also, keep your eyes and ears open. Be aware of what’s going on around you in the polling places. If something doesn’t seem right, speak up!