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Voting problems in East Point, Fulton sites

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution    11/08/05

Problems with the touch-screen voting machines caused delays for some voters in East Point and several other locations around Fulton County this morning, county elections officials said.

Fulton elections chief Cynthia Welch said the machines at Tri-Cities High School "were not calibrated," forcing poll workers to switch to a provisional, paper ballot.

"In the event you have problems with your machines, you do not stop voting, you move to the paper ballots and it's treated the same as the vote on the touch-screen unit," Welch said. "It's the exact same as an absentee ballot."

She said three voters left the polling place during the 20-minute delay, and all indicated they would return later in the day.

"No one was turned away," Welch said.

The touch-screen machines were properly calibrated and back on line by 10 a.m., Welch said.

Welch said similar problems had been reported in at least four other polling places in Fulton County by late-morning, but she didn't know which specific precincts were affected. A power interruption in one of the10 machines at the Riverwood precinct in Sandy Springs caused a brief problem, according to Ruth Sours, the poll manager at the Riverwood.

Sandy Springs is electing a governnment for the newly formed city.

East Point voters today were choosing between seven candidates for mayor, as well as electing representatives to fill four city council posts.

Running for mayor are Eddie Lee Brewster, a lobbyist and substitute teacher, businessman Threet Brown, Kathleen Cochrane, a business consultant, Barbara Collins, a retired bank executive, Oliver Huff, a financial planning and business consultant, Joe Macon, an insurance adjuster and Ronald E. Reed, a federal health insurance specialist.

Brewster was a first-term councilman who resigned to run for mayor, while Brown served on the city council from 1994-2003.

Huff made unsuccessful bids for mayor of the south Fulton city in 1997 and 2001, and Collins and Macon ran unsuccessfully for city council in the past. Cochrane and Reed have no past political experience.

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