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Nov 3, 2012 12:49 AM by Jacqui Heinrich

Voting machines changed their vote, some say

How would you feel if you went to vote for Mitt Romney, but it turned out you voted for Barack Obama? That's the concern in Pueblo County as early voters are coming forward, saying electronic voting machines changed their vote.

Reports of problems have come from every polling location in Pueblo county. Lucky for those voters, they saw the error before their ballot was submitted and were able to change their vote before it was too late. Still, the problem has left officials with an urgent message to voters leading up to Election Day.

"I'm concerned and I'm upset because I want to feel good, I want to feel good about my vote and I'm not really sure where it ended up," one Pueblo voter said, wishing to remain anonymous. She's one of at least a dozen people who reported problems using electronic voting machines in Pueblo County. "I voted for Romney-Ryan and it popped up, showed my vote went to Obama-Biden," she said.

Though her ballot was corrected in the end, she says the experience cast shadows on the electoral process, and Republican campaign officials say there's a bigger problem at hand. Vera Ortegon, Chairman of the Pueblo County Romney/Ryan Campaign, told News 5, "There may be other people that already voted and they dont know, casting the vote for one candidate but it turned out for the other candidate, they may not know."

The problem so far has only worked in favor of President Obama. "The problem is that it is only happening in swing states and more specifically in swing counties within swing states and it's very coincidental. Pueblo County is a crucial swing county so it's going to boil down to just a few votes," Ortegon told News 5.

The Pueblo Clerk & Recorder, on the other hand, says there's no conspiracy going on. Gilbert Ortiz said, "We don't feel it's an error, we feel like that person that was voting made a mistake when they were voting. We feel like our voting machines are working correctly and there's no voting error in Pueblo."

The machines were calibrated before the election and inspected by both Democratic and Republican election judges.

Other voters say they got through the process just fine. Darryl Gonzales told News 5, "I think it's a total Republican agenda to make it look like people were cheating. You have several chances to go back, review before you cast your ballot."

One thing everyone agrees on: if you're using a machine to vote, take time to review your choices before casting that ballot. In a swing state like Colorado, every vote counts.

So far the problem has only shown up in the Presidential race-- not in any of the local office races. Officials say there's no way to correct a vote after a ballot has been submitted, so voters need to be especially careful to double check electronic choices before the ballot goes in.

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