POLITICS

Voting Machines Changed Selections In Mississippi GOP Governor Runoff

Video shows a vote for Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves' opponent being switched by a glitchy machine. Reeves won the runoff for the nomination.

Tate Reeves, Mississippi’s lieutenant governor, became the GOP nominee for governor on Tuesday after besting his opponent Bill Waller in a primary runoff.

The election, however, was marred by some technical difficulties. State officials confirmed at least three reports of voting machines in two counties automatically changing some voters’ selections. One of these glitchy machines was caught on camera. 

The video, posted on Facebook Tuesday, showed a voter attempting to cast a ballot for Waller, a former chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court — but his selection kept being switched to Reeves.

“It is not letting me vote for who I want to vote for,” the voter says in the clip.

The Facebook video was filmed in the Burgess voting precinct in Oxford, Lafeyette County, according to the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger.

Anna Moak, spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office, confirmed to the paper that there had been a malfunctioning machine at the precinct. Nineteen votes were cast on the machine before the error was detected, she said.

Officials also confirmed that two other faulty voting machines had been reported in Calhoun County. In at least one other case, a voter had reportedly been attempting to vote for Waller, but their selection was automatically changed to Reeves.

Waller’s campaign told the Clarion-Ledger it received reports from at least seven other counties of voters encountering similar problems. 

Reeves won the primary runoff, with about 54% of the vote,  according to The Associated Press, with almost all precincts reporting.

Waller called his rival to concede, The Washington Post reported.

“We’ve got to work to bring the Republican Party together, and I know that the Republicans across Mississippi are going to rally behind our campaign to ensure that Mississippi does not elect a liberal Democrat to the office of governor,” Reeves told AP after his victory.  

Reeves will face Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood in November’s general election.

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