According to Drudge and others, elections officials are apparently claiming that the discrepancy in Philadelphia was caused by people confusing the number of votes currently stored on each machine with the number of votes ever cast on the machine. The number of votes ever cast on a device is stored as what election officials refer to as the “protective counter” and a quick check confirms that the machines used in Philadelphia are required to keep this count (see e.g. Pennsylvania election law). It’s still too early to know whether this explanation will hold up, but it doesn’t seem unreasonable at first glance.
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