Official: Lubbock voting machines are not switching GOP votes to Obama

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Several viewers sent KCBD emails and posted on our Facebook page this week that when they went to cast their ballot in early voting, something strange happened: They had voted straight-ticket Republican, but when they went back to cast their ballot realized that their vote had been changed from Romney to Obama.

We talked to Lubbock County Elections Administrator Dorothy Kennedy, and she said she hasn't received any reports of faulty voting machines in Lubbock County.

"Programming and everything was reviewed by the candidates here at the local level that are on the ballot and the party chairs. Three of the four party chairs came in and looked at and reviewed the ballots and we had internal testing and public testing and all of the equipment in Lubbock County is working correctly," said Kennedy.

She says what may have happened to people who had their vote changed is something called an emphasis vote. It is when a person selects straight-ticket voting, but then goes back up to the Presidential choices and clicks a name again.

For example, if someone were to vote straight-ticket Republican, they would go back up and select Mitt Romney thinking that they were making sure the ballot knew who they wanted to vote for. What actually happens, though, is that it de-selects the choice. But Lubbock County voter machines have a warning screen that tells voters what they have just done, saying "Be aware that you are changing a straight party choice."

Kennedy says that if people are confused, all they need to do is ask for help.

"Election workers will be there to help people make sure that their ballot is like they want it before they hit that red 'cast ballot' button," Kennedy says. "Voters who have any questions are welcome to come here from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. everyday and we will actually take them through and show them how to vote."

Kennedy added that turnout so far this year has been almost equal to that of 2008 and double what it was in 2004. She hopes more people will continue to come to the polling stations and cast a vote in the 2012 election.

We tried contacting the folks who wrote us about the changed vote, but we weren't able to get a response.

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