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Voter Error Blamed For Problems With Machines

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A now viral Facebook post with nearly 200,000 shares claims an Arlington woman attempted to vote straight Republican ticket, then realized the machine showed she was voting for Hillary Clinton.

And other North Texans have warned of the same issue, using social media to tell people. Even some Tarrant County Democratic leaders said they have received similar reports.

"We've had multiple examples of that coming in. They voted for Secretary Clinton, it jumped to Trump, so we're working with the elections office," said the party's chair, Deborah Peoples.

Tarrant County Republican Party Chair Tim O'Hare said he has seen the reports before, but that the problem is voters are incorrectly turning the machine's wheel to change the page, and in doing so, are changing their vote.

"The Facebook post has taken on a life of its own. We don't think there's fraud inside the machine or software glitches," said O'Hare.

Tarrant County Elections Administrator Frank Phillips said this isn't the first time people have complained.

"From time to time Tarrant County Elections receives these complaints. Tarrant County takes these complaints very seriously," he said.

After investigating, Phillips determined the problem was voter error.

"Further, in each incident where we could actually speak to a voter, they tell us that they discovered the changed vote on the summary screen display. This shows that the machine is working exactly as it should. The voter gets to review a summary of vote changes made and make any changes as needed before actually casting the vote."

Also Tuesday, Tarrant County Democrats issued a news release accusing Republicans of intimidation at a polling place.

"It's a problem I believe from our Republican friends who are trying to intimidate voters. We had a voter who called in and said there were Republicans standing within the 100 foot marker, which is not allowed, disparaging Democratic candidates," said Peoples, who believes the Tarrant County elections administrator is investigating.

But O'Hare rejects accusations his party is intimidating anyone.

"Instead of issuing press releases that Republicans are intimidating voters, they need to go in and politely ask the election judge to draw the line and make sure people aren't going inside the line and violating election code."

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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