CLINTON TOWNSHIP (KDKA/AP) – Today is Election Day and for the most part, voting has been smooth.
Many areas are already seeing long lines with some officials saying they wouldn’t be surprised if voter turnout topped 80 percent.
However, there have been some scattered issues where voters are encountering problems.
“Every time I would push a candidate for the Republican party, it would come up for the Democratic candidate,” said voter David Drane.
Election judges in Clinton Township, Butler County confirmed there were issues with two of their eight automated voting machines. Most of the issues came when people tried to vote straight party ticket.
However, others said they specifically wanted to vote for Republican Donald Trump only to see their vote switched before their eyes to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
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“I went back, pressed Trump again. Three times I did this, so then I called one of the women that were working the polls over. And she said you must be doing it wrong. She did it three times and it defaulted to Hillary every time,” Bobbie Lee Hawranko said.
Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe went to Clinton Township to check on the reports for himself.
“If somebody has an issue, they should certainly let the judge of elections at the precinct know and also call their county bureau of elections as folks have done here this morning,” Pa. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe said.
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“Those machines should be taken out of the mix and they shouldn’t be using those machines. They ought to be replacing those and using new machines to replace the ones that are acting up,” Metcalfe said.
Election officials say two out eight voting machines at that one precinct needed to be re-calibrated.
In Allegheny County, officials said they heard reports about machines not recording vote choices, so they sent experts to examine those machines:
“In each of those cases, there has been no evidence that the machines are working incorrectly. This includes reports in Robinson, West Deer, Hampton, and Sewickley Hills…In every election there are machines that need to be re-calibrated following transport. So far today, we have reset three machines — one each in Upper St. Clair, Monroeville, and West Mifflin. This is in line with what we see in each election.”
Pennsylvania Republican Party chairman Rob Gleason says he doesn’t see anything “nefarious” in scattered complaints Tuesday about apparent vote switching on older machines.
Butler County elections director Shari Brewer says older machines can get out of alignment during transfer. She says poll workers can cancel the vote when the wrong button lights up and move the voter to another booth.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro Cortes says the GOP reported problems with about 25 out of nearly 24,000 machines statewide. He says in all cases votes ended up being recorded correctly.
“I would like to know that my vote was for Trump, and not for Hillary,” voter Bobbie Lee said.
Allegheny County has also been dealing with some Election Day issues.
A judge of elections did not show up when the polls opened this morning in Springdale Borough.
“I wasn’t angry, it was just unsettling,” said Connie Rusek, who was waiting to vote.
When Margaret Vernon arrived, more than three hours after the polls opened, sheriff’s deputies escorted her into the facility.
Like other election judges, she carries a suitcase containing a master disc to start up the voting machines, along with a district registrar containing all the names of voters in the precinct.
While the machines were down, about 30 voters went to the polling place at a church nearby and voted on emergency ballots.
Vernon told deputies she was ill. She will be charged by summons with failure to perform duties.
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