Fairfax County absentee voters say machines change their votes

Absentee voting in Fairfax County, Virginia. Photo: WJLA

The question right now in Fairfax County is not if every vote counts, but whether they are being counted correctly.

Many voters lining up to cast absentee ballots in Fairfax are using the electronic voting machines and would do it again…

"It is much better than any other kind," Beverly Woodruff says. "Anybody who can read can do it. Totally efficient. Totally efficient."

But the Fairfax County Democratic Committee is not so sure.

Executive Director Frank Anderson says they've received up to 15 complaints about the machines across the county, cases where people press the button for one candidate, but the machine registers another.

He says the machines are old and outdated, a serious problem in a year, and in a state, like this.

"We know Virginia will be extremely close, so if there's just a handful of votes that go the wrong way that could be a problem," Anderson says.

And the concerns appear to be bipartisan.

Lisa Merrill, a volunteer for the Mitt Romney campaign, is encouraging voters to use paper ballots.

"I observed an issue with the electronic booths," Merrill says.

But officials in Fairfax County simply don't agree, saying every complaint has been checked, and every one cleared.

"We have yet to be able to replicate any actual problems with the machines, so it may indeed be operator error," a county official says. "But sometimes there are baseless allegations."

For information on voting absentee, including eligibility, mailing, dates, and locations: Fairfax County absentee voting