Computer Problems Force Some Hancock County Voters To Use Paper Ballots
WLOX 13, by Al Showers 07 Novebmer 2006
Hancock County also had its share of voting woes Tuesday.
"I think all 26 had problems. Some precincts couldn't even open the doors because it takes the poll workers so long to get one vote a-matic up," Hancock County Circuit Clerk Pam Metzler said.
"We've had major problems. We've had more problems in this election than any other election, and I've been here 30 years."
By mid-afternoon Tuesday, the two voting machines inside the Courthouse precinct were still not working. Voters were asked to fill out paper ballots.
"I arrived probably about four or five minutes past 7am. I wanted to get it done nice and early," Bay St. Louis resident Pat Robinson said. "And one of the women came out and said, 'I'm really sorry, the machine isn't up and running. Come back in about an hour and a half.'"
Four hours later, the machines still were not working, so Robinson got a paper ballot.
"So I'm slightly inconvenienced, I still got to vote."
Volunteers monitoring the election for the Center for Justice say it's been a mess all over.
"It's sad because people want to vote, but they've got things to do. They've got school kids to off. So they get there and if it doesn't work out, they leave. They're not going to come back. And I think people are being disenfranchised by it," Center for Justice volunteer Doug Jefferies said.
Circuit Clerk Pam Metzler said news of problems from Crane Creek to Bay High just confirm what she'd feared all along.
"Circuit Clerks fought this equipment with Eric Clark for months and months. We didn't want this. We're the ones out here in the ditches, we're the ones having to deal with it, and we fought it tooth and nail and it was shoved down our throats. We didn't want it. We wanted another system that is easier for everyone concerned," Metzler said.