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Glitch Keeps Fulton Voters Waiting For Hours  (GA)

WGCL TV    23 October 2008

ATLANTA Technical problems at several Fulton County polling places caused voting lines to grow long and tempers to grow short Wednesday evening.

Computers at the North Fulton Government Center and other county polling places lost their connection to the state's database, officials told CBS 46’s Joanna Massee. That glitch created a big headache for election workers and long waits for voters.

“(The worker) said the machines were going down and coming back up and you could vote manually or come back tomorrow,” said voter Marlon Robinson.

But Robinson said he just wanted to finish what he came for.

“I’ve already stood in line two and-a-half hours, so I wasn't gong to back tomorrow,” Robinson said.

Massee asked the secretary of state's office about what went wrong. A spokesperson assured voters that the state has fixed the problem.

“I was frantic, because I knew the people were out there, and it was going to be long anyway,” said registration officer Washiri Ajanaku.

“Given the problems encountered today, do you believe the state was ready for all these early voters?” Massee asked Ajanaku.

“I don't think it has very much to do with being ready,” Ajanaku answered. “I think it's just something in systems that sometimes falter.”

Ajanaku estimated that the computers were down for a total of 90 minutes throughout the day.

“Do you know if any voters were turned away today or didn't get their vote counted because of the problem?” Massee asked.

“I don't know of any. We had our workers go out into the lines to explain to people what we were going on,” Ajanaku answered.

But for some voters, the explanation just wasn't good enough.

“We live in a country that can send a guy to the moon, but they can't get the computers up, so it's very discouraging for me” said voter Quentin Cottrell.

State officials said when voters return here to the North Fulton Government Center Thursday, the computers should be working properly.

When things are running smoothly, officials said, the longest wait is about an hour.

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