County Clerk responds to voting problem reports

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DECATUR, Ill. (WAND)-  Macon County’s elections chief responded Wednesday to claims of voting problems shared by then-legislative-candidate Dan Caulkins Tuesday.

In a Facebook post, Caulkins wrote: “If you don’t think voter fraud is real, send me a message. I know the electronic machine in the Forsyth Library is flipping Republican votes to Democrats. Also know of paper ballots where the back side was already voted – Democrats.”

Speaking with a WAND crew Tuesday night, Caulkins said a friend texted him to report that his father’s electronic voting machine had switched intended Republican votes to Democratic candidates. Caulkins won his race for State Representative by more than 17,000 votes.

We asked County Clerk Steve Bean about the Forsyth report.

“Honestly, the report in Forsyth was not reported,” Bean said. “It was reported to the Facebook page, but usually if there’s a problem … I’ve had a good relationship with the Republican and Democratic chairmen. They call me if there’s a problem like this.”

Bean said touching the screen too close to the lines between candidates could cause the machine to select the wrong candidate, but he also said electronic voting machines allow users to check their selections and give them printouts verifying their choices.

Bean also said he was notified of reports that ballots had already been marked.

“We’re going to talk to the vendor, because the vendor prints them,” Bean said. “They’re clean copies that they print, and there shouldn’t have been anything.”

Bean said workers put the ballots in question in a “spoiled ballot” envelope, and voters cast new ballots.

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