Minor malfunctions at Contra Costa polls
CONTRA COSTA TIMES By Dogen Hannah and Karl Fischer 07 November 2006
Voting got off to a largely smooth start around Contra Costa County this morning, as voters and election workers reported only a few problems at scattered polling locations.
Early reports indicated that all polling locations opened on time and that voting was proceeding with little trouble, said Steve Weir, county registrar of voters.
Six machines used to record votes by electronically scanning paper ballots at various polling locations were malfunctioning, and election workers were fixing or replacing those machines, Weir said.
"We're moving with replacements," Weir said.
One of the balky machines appeared to be at a polling location on Clinton Avenue in Richmond. Voter Ted Hudacko said the machine would not accept his ballot when he voted at about 9 a.m.
"The voting machine in my polling place was not working, and the volunteers could not answer questions about when the machine would be functioning again," Hudacko said.
Poll workers were collecting ballots and giving voters ballot stubs, but there was no way for voters to verify that their votes were counted, Hudacko said.
"They're basically putting our ballots in a big box," Hudacko said.
Voters such as Hudacko should be confident that their votes will be counted, Weir said.
If a machine malfunctions, election workers are to ballots into a locked bin within the machine's housing, Weir said. Workers will scan the ballots later today, when the machine is fixed or replaced, he said.