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Voters in 14 precincts affected by glitch in voter rolls
Indianapolis Star    06 November 2007

10:30 AM: Changes in locations of polling sites standard, officials say
Responding to reports of voters unexpectedly finding that their precinct polling location has changed when they arrive at their traditional site, Scott Chinn, attorney for the Marion County Election board, said that less than 10 polling locations across the county had changed.
It is typical in every election cycle in places that held poll sites before couldn't hold it again, Chinn said.

There is no statutory regulation that requires officials to notify that their precinct's polling places have changed. The mayor's office s each precinct's polling sites.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties sent out information letting voters know where their polling sites are, said GOP party chairman Tom John and Democratic party chairman Michael O'Connor.

Andy Mallon, director of elections for the Election Board, said he was unaware of any widespread problems with the M100s, the machines that count the paper ballots. Some of the touch-screen voting machines that were inoperable earlier due to problems with batteries are up and running, he said. Batteries for the remaining machines still not working were being recharged.

Rob Schneider

9:30 AM: Voters in 14 precincts affected by glitch in voter rolls
A mistake in the voter rolls has caused a problem affecting about 483 voters in 14 precincts, said GOP chairman Tom John and Democratic Party Chairman Michael O'Connor.
Voters who live on the eastside of Delaware Street between 30th and 96th streets are affected, John and O'Connor said. Residents of these areas, particularly those in the Meridan-Kessler neighborhood, have been going to their longstanding polling places only to be told they are not on the rolls and told they need to go somewhere else.

When they arrive at the location they had been directed to, they found they could not vote there as well, John and O'Connor said.

Officials from both the Democrat and Republican parties say that voters should stay at the precinct at which they traditionally vote. Poll workers should call the registration office and verify the information so those voters can vote at their traditional sites.

Voters who experience this problem are urged to call the Marion County Board of Voter Registration at (317) 327-5040. Voters who experienced the problem earlier and left when they could not vote can return to their traditional polling sites, O'Connor and John said. Workers have been instructed on the procedure to allow them to vote.

John said officials are trying to figure out what caused the glitch. Neither he nor O'Connor could give an estimate of how many voters had tried to vote but didn't because of this problem.

Marion County Clerk Beth White referred questions about this problem to the Board of Voter Registration, which she said handles the voter rolls.

Robert King and Rob Schneider

7:57 AM All Marion County polling places open
The three Marion County precincts that opened late this morning were up and running by 7:30 a.m., if not sooner, elections officials said. The delay was attributed to poll inspectors failing to show up for their assigned duties. In one case, a poll worker got lost on the way to the voting site.
That is a marked contrast to the May primary, when scores of precincts opened late some well into the afternoon and five never opened at all after more than 150 inspectors failed to show.

Marion County Clerk Beth White reported problems with touch-screen voting at a number of precincts. Batteries in the machines appeared to be causing the problems. Voters at those sites cast paper ballots instead, she said, and were not denied the opportunity to vote.

Touch screens are used primarily by disabled voters, White said.

The May primary was the first for White, a Democrat. The snafus prompted scathing criticism of her lack of preparedness.

To avoid a repeat, White set up a 40-person call center in her office at the City-County building.

The phones were busy in the half-hour before the 6 a.m. opening of the polls. But by 8 a.m. things were much quieter, with many operators sitting idle at their computers.

Marion County GOP Tom John, who was vehemently critical of White in May, said the problems encountered this morning were typical for any election.

"Certainly it seems to be better than it was last time," he said.

Robert King

7:00 AM 3 precincts open late, voting machine trouble
Three precincts opened late this morning when inspectors failed to show up.
Replacements were sent to Lawrence 7, 5805 E. 56th Street; Ward 13, Precinct 2, 11th and Meridian Streets; and Washington 11, 2085 Waterford.

“We’re feeling so much better than we did in May,” Marion County Clerk Beth White said less than an hour after the polls opened.

Problems plagued the many of the county’s 917 precincts in the spring primary.

Also, this morning there were problems with some touch-screen voting machines. Paper ballots were in use until the machines were fixed.

Robert King

6:17 AM Few polling place problems
As Marion County voters head to the polls today for the first time since the May primary election debacle, the first question they face is whether their polling place will be ready for them.
The early indications this Election Day morning are good.

Only two or three polling places did not open at 6 p.m. In one case, the inspector got lost, Marion County Clerk Beth White said. The polls will be opened and the lost inspector was given direction to the precinct.
White said all the inspectors at the county's 917 precincts picked up their voting materials, which include ballots and voter lists.
That's crucial because in May more than 150 of those packets went unclaimed on the morning of the primary. It resulted in scores of precincts opening late, and five not opening at all.
White has been preparing for months to get it right this time. Her office this morning is buzzing with more than 40 people answering phones in a call center set up to handle voting problems.
With polls set to open at 6 a.m., the plan seems to be going well for now.
"It's an extremely good start. We are feeling good about that," White said.
The polls were scheduled to be open until 6 p.m.
Key races in Marion County include the mayor's race and all 29 City-County Council seats.
Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita announced Monday he would dispatch teams of observers to election sites around the state.
A voter hotline 1-866-IN-1-VOTE has been set up to field complaints.

Robert King


Star report

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