Viral video of voting machine casts shadow on Mississippi governor’s race

Viral video of voting machine casts shadow on Mississippi governor’s race

Nik Zecevic

Viral cellphone video of a defective voting machine cast some doubt on a Republican primary for governor in Mississippi on Tuesday, sparking broader concerns about U.S. voting infrastructure ahead of 2020.

In the video, one voter, Ethan Peterson of Oxford, Mississippi, tried numerous times to press the touchscreen checkbox for Republican Bill Waller Jr., but the machine instead registered a vote for Walker’s GOP primary rival, Tate Reeves. Eventually Peterson said he was able to fix the issue and vote as intended.

It was one of two instances Tuesday, confirmed by the Mississippi secretary of state, in which older touchscreen machines indicated votes for the wrong candidate.

Accounts commenting on the viral post questioned the integrity of the U.S. election system. But Peterson said he thought it was simply a calibration issue.

“My intent is not to feed the conspiracy monster,” Peterson, 43, a fire protection coordinator at the University of Mississippi, told NBC News.

“Make sure your vote is correct before you hit go, because if I wasn’t paying attention, I would have voted for the guy I didn’t want to,” he said.