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Some Polling Problems Continue to Haunt Clerk's Office

WISH-TV 8     06 November 2007

By Rick Dawson
24-Hour News 8

INDIANAPOLIS - Six months ago, a lot of voters in Marion County couldn't vote in the primary because of problems getting some precincts open for business. This time, all the voting locations opened, some a little late and some of them had a few other issues as well.

"We're having a really good day, we're having an extremely good day, things are working just fine, people are voting and they're voting all around the county," said an optimistic Marion County Clerk, Beth White, early in the day.

But not everything was fine. A handful of the more than 900 precincts in Marion County didn't open on time. Some took close to an hour to get up and running.

For more than half the day, more than 10% of the county's touch screen machines used by disabled voters weren't working.  That meant voters filled out paper ballots to be counted by other voting machines later.

In some instances batteries on the machines weren't properly charged. In other cases, cards that record votes were ed upside down. Technicians spent the day fixing those glitches.

Most of the problems we heard about on our WISH-TV Voter Hotline involved people who couldn't find their proper precinct.

White's efforts today were judged, unavoidably, against the back of last May's debacle. "We really are seeing the voters of course who didn't have an opportunity in May, who were disenfranchised based on my office's problems are now getting the opportunity to vote, and I'm just gratified that that's true and I want everyone to know that what happened in May was unacceptable, but we've turned that corner and today in November we're showing that we can have a much better election," said White.

We're told that the problems with the touch screen machines were all fixed by 3p.m. Also, because of a data entry error, many people who live on the east side of Delaware Street between 30th and 96th Streets were placed in the wrong precincts. But they were able to file paperwork to allow them to vote at their usual precincts.

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