There’s a video making the rounds on social media right now that purports to show a Pennsylvania voting machine that refuses to take a vote for Bernie Sanders. Naturally, a lot of Sanders supporters are upset over this, but let’s think about this for a moment before we start marching with Molotov cocktails, shall we?
But first, watch the video in question:
Here it is folks. Voter supression in my own fucking neighborhood. Hundreds of people at my location today were told that they couldn’t vote for Bernie. Demand that your machines be reset until you see a red light for Bernie. Don’t let them back you down. Raise hell until you get to vote for who you want! #berniesanders #bernieorbust #bernie2016
When I started watching the video, which shows the voter pressing the Bernie Sanders button over and over again without any results, I was expecting him to then press the Hillary Clinton button and show that indicator lighting up. Except he doesn’t.
The exact same thing happened to me on Tuesday morning when I went to my local polling place to cast a vote for John Kasich, basically a protest vote against Donald Trump. I pressed the Kasich button, and nothing happened. The thing is, instead of posting a video on Instagram claiming that the fix was in, I asked the poll worker about it. And guess what? There was a very simple explanation, as I expect there is here as well.
Pennsylvania has a closed primary, and you can only vote within your party. Each voting machine must be set for each voter, so if you’re a Democrat, the machine will only accept a vote for a Democratic candidate. And if you’re a Republican, you can only go Republican. Pressing the button for the wrong party doesn’t give you an error message or beep or any other kind of indication that something is amiss. Precisely nothing happens.
When I brought this to the attention of the poll worker, he realized the problem, reached behind the machine, and changed it to the Republican setting, and voila, the machine worked as I expected it to. I pressed the John Kasich button, the light for John Kasich lit up, and my vote was recorded once I pressed the big green button.
The other possibility is that the voting machine in the video simply isn’t on.
Of course, with such a short video that shows so little, we have no idea what really is going on here, but evidence of some evil conspiracy it is not.
Follow @VictorFiorillo on Twitter.