Glitches With New Voting Machines (NY)
WICZ Fox 40. November 3, 2009
It was a slow start to Election Day, but the hum of new voting machines was still heard at polling places across Broome County.
We went to a few to find out what the turnout was like and to see what residents think about the new high-tech machines.
Election Day has arrived, but the voters....not so much.
"It comes in spurts," said Nancy Lee Sweeney, Chairperson District Three.
The polling place at Catholic Charities in Binghamton was pretty quiet around the noon hour.
Only about 30 people had showed up to vote in district four out of more than 280 voters.
"People feel that maybe a national election is more important," said Sweeney.
But on the other side of the room, district three was a bit busier.
Resident Frances Chechatka made it out to cast her ballot.
It was her first time using the new voting machines.
"Well I think it's nice and it's fast," said Chechatka.
What Chechatka doesn't know is that the voting machine she just used may have rejected her ballot.
In fact, district three has had some glitches with ballots all morning.
The district chair says the new machine is so sensitive it picks up defects in the paper, rejecting the ballot.
"And so because it picks up the defects, it doesn't pick up what people are voting for, and we have to void it and give them another paper," said Sweeney.
And it happened 16 times.
"Aggghh not again," said Sweeney.
But election officials say voters were understanding once the problem had been explained to them.
Down the road at the Greenman Senior Center, the voting machines were working a lot smoother.
But that didn't impress Binghamton Resident John Cardinale.
"It's like going back a hundred years, they used to have paper ballots then, and it makes no sense going backwards," said voter John Cardinale.
What does make sense to Cardinale is exercising his right to vote.
He says whether you like the new machines or not, practicing your civic duty this Election Day is what really matters.