As voters across the state report voting machine irregularities this Election Day, ten machines have been taken out of service in Anne Arundel County.

A handful of voters who contacted The Capital Tuesday said their votes were flipped from Republican candidates to Democrats. Another voter said his vote on a ballot question was switched.


Donna Duncan, Maryland Board of Elections assistant deputy for election policy, said 34 reports of faulty voting machines had been filed statewide by early afternoon.

Fifteen machines were taken out of service across the state, including the 10 in Anne Arundel County as of 4:40 p.m. There are 17,000 voting machines across the state, said Linda Lamone, the state administrator with the Board of Elections. The machines could be malfunctioning for a variety of reasons, she said.

"We've had absolutely no reports that someone wasn't able to fix their ballots," she said.

A breakdown of precincts in the county wasn't available, but at least one was taken offline at Annapolis High School after voting irregularities were reported Tuesday morning.

Elections officials were keeping a close eye on another machine at the polling place at 2700 Riva Road, said county election director Joe Torre.

It's something the state Republican party will continue to look at, said Ross Turlington, a communications and field coordinator at the Annapolis office. There have been a handful of calls to report the error in the machines, he said. That being said, it's not concentrated in a particular area.

"We've had calls from Washington County, down to the shore, to Charles County," he said.

Annapolis resident Raymond G. Boileau said his vote on a ballot issue switched at the Annapolis High School site. He said he tried to fix it, but the problem repeated itself a half-dozen more times.

An election official also tried his hand at the machine, but the problem persisted, Boileau said. He went back to the site later and saw the machine had been taken out of service.

Still, it's concerning, he said.

"These are faulty machines out there."

Tiffany O'Donnell, 52, of Annapolis, a registered Republican, said she attempted to cast her vote at the high school for Larry Hogan for governor, only to have the machine check the box for Democrat Anthony Brown.

Although she was able to change her vote back, the same problem continued to occur as she shuffled through the screens, she said.

"I didn't think a whole lot of it - I just thought it was odd," O'Donnell said.


O'Donnell said she reported the complaint to an election official who attributed the problem to her fingernails.

As she and her husband were leaving the polling place they ran into another woman who reported a similar problem.

Torre said election officials have received other complaints about voting irregularities throughout the county. Problems started during early voting.

Rosalie Dunn of Riva said she had a faulty machine while voting early last Tuesday at Edgewater Community Library.

Dunn attempted to vote for Hogan, but instead her final ballot showed a vote for Brown.

The Riva woman said she was "flabbergasted" because she remembered being very careful while using the touch-screen system.

Dunn went back to change her vote, she said, and it again switched from Hogan to Brown. She said she fixed it and made sure her vote was correct before submitting her ballot.

But Dunn said her problems didn't stop there.

When she called the Maryland Board of Elections voting hotline, she said the woman who answered the phone had trouble understanding the problem. Ultimately the call was disconnected.

"She sounded like she got very flustered with me and hung up," Dunn said.

Dunn has since sent an email to county and state election officials to notify them of her problem. She wonders how many other people had their votes switched but didn't notice.

"If I was really in a hurry I probably wouldn't have caught it," she said. "It bothers me that some people who aren't comfortable with electronics or who didn't double check it might not have caught it."

Voting machine problems also were reported last week in Severna Park.

Voters who have experienced problems can call the Maryland Board of Elections voter hotline at 1-800-222-8683.