Polling problems plague Marion County primary
INDIANAPOLIS – The Marion County clerk apologized for a rocky primary Tuesday after 100 poll workers failed to show up and voting sites were closed hours after their scheduled openings.
About 150 inspectors failed to collect election materials, including ballots and other supplies, Monday night and workers did not show up Tuesday morning, said Marion County Clerk Beth White, who was overseeing her first election.
Election officials were scrambling to find replacement workers and began delivering supplies to precincts at 4 a.m.
Five sites never opened before voting ended at 6 p.m., White said.
The county’s election board did not ask a court to extend voting hours because, in part, the voting machines were not programmed to operate past 6 p.m., she said.
“I’m as frustrated as voters are, and I’m sorry,” White said at a news conference outside a polling place.
“One voter who has not been able to vote is one too many,” White said. “I know that, and I take responsibility for that.”
About 20 were reported shut at 8 a.m., two hours after they were scheduled to open. There are 917 precincts in Marion County.
The county Republican Party director criticized Democratic Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson’s staff for the problem.
“It shows the utter lack of leadership and poor planning on behalf of Mayor Peterson’s hand-picked clerk, Beth White,” Kyle Walker said. “This is a complete and utter failure.”
He said election supplies had been left unattended outside a polling place at Geist Christian Church on the northeast side of Indianapolis.