Lines and problems reported at scattered polling sites
Rovers address machine woes
The Repository (CantonRep.com) November 7, 2006 By Robert Wang Repository staff writer
With voting in this year’s midterm election under way Tuesday morning, some Stark County voters encountered delays or problems with electronic touch-screen voting machines that were either malfunctioning or set up improperly.
Dan Santarelli, 47, of Canton, said two of the Diebold voting machines weren’t working at 6:45 a.m. at his polling location in American Legion Post 44 at 1633 Cleveland Ave. NW. After he waited more than 10 minutes, poll workers told him he would have to cast a provisional paper ballot.
Santarelli was so angry, he went to the Stark County Board of Elections’ downtown Canton office and complained to the board’s Executive Director Jeff Matthews. Santarelli said Matthews told him that his ballot wouldn’t be counted until 10 days after the election.
“They need to fix these machines before there’s another election,” Santarelli said. “As an American citizen, my vote is not being counted today, and that’s dead wrong.”
Massillon Law Director Perry Stergios, who served Tuesday as a roving poll troubleshooter, said some voting machines at at least two polling locations in Jackson Township — Rose Lane Health Center on High Mill Avenue NW and Shortridge Villa on Stephen Circle NW — had touchscreens that weren’t working properly. A voter had to touch a spot as many as 15 times before the machine would recognize the ion. Stergios said poll workers also had problems feeding paper into a machine at Rose Lane.
Matthews said while some places were having problems such as printer paper jams and some poll workers failing to show up, voting was going normally at other locations. He blamed it more on human error than mechanical.
Polling workers had improperly set up some machines.
“It’s like any previous election,” he said. “Some places are running perfectly and fine. (But) when it’s bad, it’s bad.”
Matthews said not all problems are reported immediately to him, so he had no figures on how extensive the voting machines problems might be. But rovers like Stergios fix the problems as they’re reported. He said he would receive the rovers’ reports over the next week.
Matthews said all polling locations opened on time.
Reach Repository writer Robert Wang at (330) 580-8327 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org