Voters in Texas are having their selection flipped to an entirely different party by the state’s 20-year-old ballot machines, officials have admitted.
Republican voters say they have found themselves staring at screens telling them they have selected democrat Beto O’Rourke for the US Senate. Democrats say the same machines have told them they have favored the Republican Ted Cruz for the same position.
It is unclear if anyone has actually voted for the wrong party as a result of the flipping as the machines give users the chance to correct any errors before confirming.
But the issue has added one more controversy to one of the most acrimonious midterm elections in American history.
Concerns with the devices were first raised on social media but state officials confirmed on Friday they were aware of the problem – which they then blamed on voter misuse.
“The Hart eSlate machines are not malfunctioning,” said Sam Taylor, spokesman for the office of Secretary of State, according to the Press Association news agency. “The problems being reported are a result of user error – usually voters hitting a button or using the selection wheel before the screen is finished rendering.”