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Problem machines cause voting delay   (TX)

Lauren Winchester   The Daily Texan    05 March 2008

When Laura Castro arrived at Lake Pointe Elementary School to vote at 9 a.m. Tuesday, she encountered an anxious and frustrated crowd.

Castro, a technical writer for the UT School of Law, said the line of about 40 people was not moving because only one of about nine polling machines was working properly.

A school receptionist said no one at the polling place would comment on the issue.

A technician discovered that the machine responsible for printing out access codes for voters was broken. Voting resumed about 10 a.m. after the machine was shut down and replaced with a new one, Castro said.

"Once it was working, things started to go smoothly, and it was really quick," Castro said.

"Between that time, it was starting to get crowded. It was a little chaotic."

Officials at the polling place said the machines had worked when they were tested the night before, Castro said.

County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir said the Travis County clerk's office had received reports of one or two machines that were not working, but not from Lake Pointe Elementary. She said broken polling machines are not always reported.

Troubleshooters were in the field all day, DeBeauvoir said.

"It's all very normal out there," she said.

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