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US e-voting machines 'switching votes'

Officials unable to replicate voting problem

Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood, also a Republican, has been surveying early voters about the e-voting machines' performance since a news report on Sunday of votes being switched from Obama to McCain in his county. Wood said he doesn't know what happened, but he's also recalibrated the machines and has had no problems reported since then.

Wood said he'd do nothing to jeopardise the trust that voters have given him. People should report problems with e-voting machines, but Wood said he's concerned that the news reports may cause voters to get "discouraged."

"I take my job seriously," he added. "I'm going to do everything I can to do the job for the people of Putnam County."

Wood also urged voters to check their ballots and pay attention to the screen prompts before they finalise their votes. "We want you to check all your work, just to be on the safe side," he said.

ES&S spokesman Ken Field also noted the review screen on the ES&S machines. "Voters have the opportunity to make changes at that point before they are able to cast their ballot," he said. "The information we have is the voters were not able to replicate the issue they indicated they were having for poll workers."

West Virginia Secretary of State Betty Ireland issued an advisory on Tuesday, recommending that county clerks recalibrate their e-voting machines.

"The incidents reported are isolated, and, it should be noted, all voters were eventually able to cast their ballot with their desired selections," the advisory said. "As of the end of Monday, more than 28,000 voters cast their ballot in West Virginia, and thus the reported difficulties were minimal. We continue to work with each county clerk, as well as the manufacturer of the machines, to help ensure that votes are cast and counted accurately."

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