Debunked: Democratic senators complained about 'vote switching' by Dominion voting machines in 2019

JFDee

Senior Member.
In social media and fringe news sites, claims resembling the following are popping up:
Senators Elizabeth Warren (D), Amy Klobuchar (D) & Ron Wyden (D) issue a formal complaint in 2019 to Dominion Voting Systems.

Among the complaints? Allegations of 'vote-switching.'
Content from External Source

Source: https://twitter.com/kylenabecker/status/1327305801824940047

Screenshot:

warren_dom_tweet.png



Here is the bunk in short:
  1. It was a letter requesting information, not a formal complaint
  2. It went to all three major voting systems manufacturers (or rather to their largest shareholders), not just to Dominion
  3. The primary concern is "about the spread and effect of private equity investment in [...] the election technology industry", namely by cost-cutting
  4. It does not single out Dominion machines when describing real (documented) and potential voting problems.
  5. The "vote switching" referred to defective or decalibrated touchscreens on old machines, quite obvious to voters; there was no post-usage flip

The paper itself can be found here:
https://www.warren.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/H.I.G. McCarthy, & Staple Street letters.pdf

The letter to Staple Street begins with this paragraph:
We are writing to request information regarding Staple Street Capital Group, LLC's (Staple Street) investment in Dominion Voting System (Dominion) one of three election technology vendors responsible for developing, manufacturing and maintaining the vast majority of voting machines and software in the United States, and to request information about your firm's structure and finances as it relates to this company.
Content from External Source
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It goes on to specify the (projected) real-world consequences of cost-cutting and profit-push, then listing a number of specific machine problems - lifted from news reports - attributed to neglected support of voting systems in operation. That's where the 'vote flipping' reference comes in.
In 2018 alone ''voters in South Carolina [were] reporting machines that switched their votes after they'd inputted them, scanners [were] rejecting paper ballots in Missouri, and busted machines [were] causing long lines in Indiana."14
Content from External Source
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The quote comes from a 2018 VICE article which itself links to a report on "wltx.com",

https://www.wltx.com/article/news/p...ts-after-voting-issues-reported/101-611652645 (archive.is) (Cache)

According to the WLTX article, the "flipping" of votes was visible to voters who reported it themselves. According to officials, the causes amounted to aged machines and touch screen decalibration. There was no large-scale post-vote shifting.
News 19 reached out to Richland County Elections Director Rokey Suleman, who says they believe the problems were caused by a calibration issue with the voting machines.

Suleman says no one had their votes switched. However, if the touchscreen calibration was off, it could make an unintended selection. He says that is why voters should carefully review the final selection page before casting their ballot.
[...]
Suleman could confirm as of 9 am that machines at Kennerly Road Baptist Church had been recalibrated.

One caller tells News 19 she attempted to correct her vote several times to no avail. She asked a poll worker for another machine and was able to cast her vote there.
Content from External Source
 
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JFDee

Senior Member.
To moderator:
Thanks for adding the direct link to WLTX!

I assume it works on your side. On my side, I get only "Access denied, no permission".
If that is due to geoblocking, it would be nice to get an adequate notice ...
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
https://www.wltx.com/article/news/p...ts-after-voting-issues-reported/101-611652645 (archive.is) (Cache)

According to the WLTX article, the "flipping" of votes was visible to voters who reported it themselves. According to officials, the causes amounted to aged machines and touch screen decalibration. There was no large-scale post-vote shifting.
In the video, Richland County Elections Director Rokey Suleman says the machines were 14 years-old, using 20+ years-old technology.

Calibration of touch-screens was indeed a big problem with older technology. Modern phone and tablets use capacitive technology where the position of the sensors is physically linked to the position of a corresponding group of pixels, so it's essentially impossible to get decalibrated. They are also under glass, and just need a light touch.

Older systems use resistive technology, which uses a less precise system of flexible plastic sheets with metallic dots or stripes. The position of a press is detected by a combination of changes in the resistance in the X and Y direction, which required calibration, and can change over time or with repeated use.

Any recent system should not have this issue.
 
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