The Great “They’re Changing Muh Vote” Conspiracy


There are a few viral Facebook posts going around claiming that voting machines in Harris County are somehow changing votes. It’s always someone’s friend of a friend, and yet, no matter how many times I offer to talk to one of these people as a reporter, I never seem to get a message or an email. Considering this is an election cycle where one party’s nominee has decided democracy doesn’t count if he loses, I’m not surprised.

That said, I’m going to do my blood pressure a favor and pretend I’m talking to sane persons at the moment. What should you do if your ballot looks different from what you intended?

No. 1, you can print out a sample ballot against which to check your final summary. Harris County voters can find one here. This ensures you didn’t just make a mistake with the weird-wheel thingy we vote with down here. Bonus tip in this section: The Texas State Bar Association has a straw poll regarding judges that you can use to fill out your ballot.

But say your ballot does not match your intentions. What to do then? Well, there’s three possible culprits.

1. User error
2. Machine malfunction
3. Seriously, it’s probably something you did

All you have to do in any of these cases is alert a volunteer, who will void your ballot and let you start over. That’s it. That’s the whole ballgame.

I realize that people are indulging the fantasy that Hillary Clinton is rigging this election, but you’ve got to face reality. The Republicans control all the Texas election machines. The only way Clinton could rig the election here is through black magic, and if she’s got that going for her, why bother with elections at all?

If a machine screwed up your vote, tell a volunteer. Like an adult. Don’t take to Facebook and spin wild conspiracy theories. Most things can be solved by just talking to the manager.

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