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Tennesseans report voting problems

Anne Paine THE TENNESSEAN October 25, 2008

Record numbers of voters are casting ballots early, but not everyone is leaving the polls happy. Tracey Hudson's voting attempt at the Edmondson Pike Library ended with her in tears.

The machine malfunctioned and didn't let her see the ballot, but a poll worker told she had voted.

"I was robbed," Hudson said Friday.

Hudson is one of at least a few Tennessee residents who have reported voting problems. In East Tennessee's Sullivan County, three or four voters noticed they had been given the wrong paper ballot, but got correct ones before they cast their vote, an official said.

In Nashville, Hudson has finally been able to laugh about her own situation, which happened last week, but still wants it righted.

"I hit the button to go to the ballot and there was a flash," she said, adding that the screen went blank, then returned to the main menu. "I didn't see the ballot to actually choose anything."

She asked a poll worker for help, but the person insisted she had voted and told her to "move on." Hudson said she had been looking forward to voting for Barack Obama.

Patricia Earnhardt, voting at the Howard Office Building, where the Davidson County Election Commission is located, said she couldn't get Obama's name to light up.

She asked a poll worker for help, but when that person pressed it, Cynthia McKinney, an independent listed five lines lower, was ed, she said. Obama's name finally registered, but the vote button didn't work until the poll worker pressed it, Earnhardt said.

She filed reports with Metro, the state and the Election Protection Hotline.

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