Tarrant County woman admits early voting problem was her fault

State and county election officials say claims of so-called “vote flipping” aren’t true and when they look into those claims they’ve found only human error.

One woman spoke to FOX4 and said she's learned a life lesson about how to use the electronic machines after she accidentally cast her ballot before she finished.

“I felt really confident when I first walked into the ballot so I don't understand exactly what went bad, but it was over in like 10 seconds,” said Teresa Foster, who voted Monday at the Southwest Service Center in Arlington. “Somehow or another I hit the send ballot button accidentally or maybe my hand just bumped into it.”

The retired teacher even returned early from Colorado where she'd helped get out the vote so she could cast her ballot for president. But once in the voting booth she didn't get close, accidentally casting her ballot after the first referendum on the ballpark.

“I called for help thinking there'd be a way to work through this but the guy just said you're done you voted, you'll have to leave,” Foster said.

Tarrant County voting administrators say they can only assist if an issue is reported *before* hitting the "cast ballot" button.

“Once you pressed the cast ballot button, you have voted, there's no going back,” said Frank Phillips, Tarrant County Election Administrator

Administrators said a handful of people have reported votes appearing to be switched from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton as others used the E-Slate machines. But all cases were determined to be user error.

“That's not unheard of that we hear those allegations,” Phillips said. “We hear them just about every general election. Seems to be a greater fervor if it this year with the advent of social media and those types of things, but what we want to assure people of is that's not happening.”

Officials said voters need to be careful how they are scrolling through pages when voting a straight ticket and be sure to double check the summary page at the end before pressing the cast ballot button.

In Dallas County, which uses different machines, administrators say they too are getting calls from concerned people seeing similar accounts on social media but have yet to speak to anyone who's experienced it personally.

Foster doesn't blame machine or fraud -- but next time plans to vote by mail or with a paper ballot on Election Day. This year, she hopes people slow down, read directions carefully and exercise extreme caution.

“It’s like at the end of my life when I have the bucket list, it’s going to be just a little bit empty because I didn't get to vote in this election,” Foster said.

Dallas and Tarrant County voters will use paper ballots on election day, with electronic voting machines available for anyone with special needs.

Tarrant County voting machine demonstration: http://access.tarrantcounty.com/en/elections/hart-voting-system.html

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