Virginia politicians warn of possible vote switching on electronic machines


BUSTED? Voting machines in Virginia are apparently moving Republican votes to the Democrats’ column.

By Kathryn Watson |, Virginia Bureau

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Voting machines in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia could be doing the same thing machines in states like Illinois and Maryland have — switching electronic votes from Republican to Democrat.

According to Rep. Scott Rigell, the Republican incumbent running against Suzanne Patrick in the 2nd District, multiple voters have reported their electronic voting machines have selected the candidate of the other party when they tap their choice. A video taken in Virginia Beach seems to show the electronic machine selecting Patrick, the Democrat, when the voter clearly taps the machine to choose Rigell.

According to WAVY Channel 10 in Hampton Roads, voters in the precincts of Bayside, Great Neck, Stratford Chase, Acredale, Colonial, Centerville, Alanton, Witchduck, Sherry Park, Homestead and Great Run have reported these sorts of irregularities.

Rigell held a press conference over the concerns Tuesday morning.

“We have received numerous, credible reports of poll machine irregularity at voting precincts in Virginia’s Second Congressional District,” Rigell said in a statement. “This is very troubling. It is critical that every voter verifies the final summary page before pushing the ‘cast ballot’ option.”

Republican Sen. Jeff McWaters of Virginia Beach took to Facebook to warn his constituents, too.

“ALERT!! Voting machine errors reported at the polls,” McWaters posted on his Facebook page. “Please double check your voting summary to make sure your votes are correct before submitting.” has reported similar issues in other states in recent weeks.

Voters in Maryland and Illinois reported the same problem — their electronic screens wouldn’t allow them to vote for Republicans, only for Democrats. In those states, the only reported switches were from the GOP to the Democratic Party, not visa versa.

The Virginia Department of Elections is taking formal complaints at (804) 864-8901, or via official form at this website. will continue to follow this story as more information becomes available.

— Kathryn Watson is an investigative reporter for’s Virginia Bureau, and can be found on Twitter @kathrynw5.