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Photo: Tasos Katopodis/AFP/Getty Images

Some early voters in Texas and Georgia have been reporting that their party selections on their voting machines have been switched to the opposite party, or are not selecting candidates at all, according to reports by ABC13 and USA Today.

Why it matters: Such vote recording problems raise questions among voters about whether their votes are being counted properly and whether voting machines are rigged.

Texas

In Texas, voter selections across both sides of the aisle have reportedly been changed. Votes for Democrat Beto O’Rourke have been switched to incumbent Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, while votes for Cruz have ended up selecting no candidate at all.

A third-party expert in the inner workings of the eSlate says the problems likely aren't the result of hacking, but rather of the state using equipment it knows to be full of bugs.

The background: In 2007, Rice University professor Dan Wallach participated in California's "top to bottom" review of its election equipment, including the eSlate voting machine. That's when he discovered the glitch that appears to be affecting the users today.

  • It's unclear exactly why, but occasionally when voters opt to vote a straight ticket, the eSlate changes the vote in the top race on the ballot.
  • The machines are no longer updated by the manufacturer, according to Wallach. Hart Intercivic did not respond to a request for comment.

Texas missed its chance to pressure Hart Intercivic into fixing the problem a decade ago when the bugs were known and the machine still supported. Wallach now lives in a district that votes on eSlate machines. "It's ironic that I discovered the bug and, 10 years later, I have to vote on one of the machines that still hasn't been fixed," he said.

Voters must verify that the machine correctly recorded their votes before they are logged in a confirmation screen.

  • But according to Wallach's testing, as many as two thirds of voters don't read the confirmation screen before leaving.
Georgia

In Georgia, the NAACP has filed a complaint that some voters' choices of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams have been switched to her opponent, Republican Brian Kemp, per USA Today.

  • An NAACP official blamed the problems on "old dilapidated machines." The organization plans to file more complaints about additional counties in Georgia with similar reports.
  • The office of the Georgie Secretary of State — candidate Kemp himself — said the problems either could not be substantiated or were the result of voter error, per 11Alive.

Georgia's election has already been marked by questions raised over alleged attempts to suppress voting among the state's African American citizens, along with efforts to purge voters.

Go deeper

Updated 35 mins ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

51 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.