A Philadelphia artist posted video of a voting machine seemingly rejecting his vote for Bernie Sanders that went viral.
“Here it is folks. Voter supression in my own f—— neighborhood,” Brooks Bell wrote when he posted the videoon Instagram. “Hundreds of people at my location today were told that they couldn’t vote for Bernie.”
The video was retweeted more than 2,500 times after New York journalist Shaun King shared it on Twitter.
Here it is folks. Voter supression in my own fucking neighborhood. People all morning 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
However, the machine in the video was not turned on, said City Commissioner Al Schmidt.
“It is a video of someone trying to vote on a machine that isn’t on,” Schmidt said. “If you look at the video, to the left of where the candidates names are, there should be a red light on,indicating that the voter can select one of those candidates. …We looked at it. It’s immediately apparent that the voting machine was off.”
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Bell confirmed that, in fact, the voting machine just needed to be reset, and he was able to vote for Sanders later on. But he said problems like this may have obstructed other voters.
“We have computers in our pockets. We’re voting on these rinky-dink machines that have to work two times a year. …They shouldn’t be fraudulent, they shouldn’t be faulty,” he said. “Idon’t want to feed into some crazy conspiracy theory about voter suppression, but what Iexperienced, Ijust don’t understand. … There has to be a way to make this an easier process.”
More than his own experience, Bell (who created the Bernie Sanders mural in South Philly) was bothered to see an older voterleaving his polling place at 10th and Thompson streets saying they couldn’t vote for Sanders. That man had tried to use the same machine Bell used.
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“He said, ‘The guy Iwanted to vote for was Bernie … they told me inside I couldn’t vote for him,” Bell said. “I was able to vote, but that was aftercausing a scene to get the machine reset. What happened after Ileft? Were voters still being told to leave?”
“I just want people to know, their machines can be reset if need be, and make sure it works properly.”