A Single Facebook Post is All the Proof Trump Needs For Widespread Voter Fraud
A single social media post about ballot confusion in Texas has Donald Trump stoking claims of electoral corruption, but local officials say there’s not foundation for concern as it was just human error.
Some voters in Texas, which began its early voting period this week, have experienced problems casting their ballots. A Randall County voter recalled her own mishap in a Facebook post on Monday, saying that she tried to cast a straight Republican ballot — including a vote for Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence — but wound up inadvertently selecting the Democratic ticket of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
As of Thursday morning, the woman’s post has been shared nearly 10,000 times and has generated hundreds of comments.
The Republican presidential nominee took to Twitter to suggest Thursday there have been widespread cases of “vote flipping,” the act of casting a vote for one candidate only to see it awarded to the opponent instead.
“A lot of call-ins about vote flipping at the voting booths in Texas,” Trump tweeted. “People are not happy. BIG lines. What is going on?”
A lot of call-ins about vote flipping at the voting booths in Texas. People are not happy. BIG lines. What is going on?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2016
A Trump campaign spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment. Trump’s tweet was a continuation of his oft-invoked claims of a “rigged” election, which has emerged as his central campaign message amid eroding poll numbers.
But Shannon Lackey, the elections administrator at Randall County, said there’s no reason for concern.
“Absolutely not … It is not happening in any way, shape or form,” Lackey told CNN on Thursday. “I stand 100% behind what I do. I stand behind my machines, my staff.”
The ballot complaints have surfaced elsewhere in Texas. Another woman said Monday on Facebook that a family member in Arlington, Texas, had her Republican vote changed to Clinton, a post that has been shared more than 200,000 times.
Potter County, which borders Randall County, has encountered similar problems. In each case, officials have attributed the problems to human error.
“There is nothing wrong with any of the machines we use for voting,” Potter County Judge Nancy Tanner said in a statement this week. “They do not flip your vote. They do not flip parties. Humans do that.”
Frank Phillips, the elections administrator in Arlington’s Tarrant County, said that his investigation “indicated that the voter did not follow the directions for straight-party voting.”
Randall County uses the Hart Intercivic eSlate for its elections, an electronic system that allows voters to turn a wheel and push a button to indicate preferences, and Lackey said those machines “work exactly as intended.”
Moreover, voters are dealt a summary screen at the end of each ballot, which allows them to confirm their choices before casting.
Lackey said she is confronted with such confusion most election cycles, and this year has been no exception. Her personal hypothesis is that voters, so accustomed to touch screens in their everyday lives, hit the machine’s button after indicating their choices, inadvertently “deselecting” their preferred vote.
Lackey also pointed out that the Randall County woman behind the viral Facebook post never alleged corruption, and she made it clear that she was able to correct her vote before officially casting the ballot.
“She didn’t use ‘flipping’ or anything like that in her original post,” Lackey said. “I believe that her intention in putting this on Facebook was to say, ‘Hey everyone, pay attention.'”