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Adams County pulls plug on faulty voting machine  (CO)

ADAM GOLDSTEIN     The Aurora Sentinel   29 October 2008

AURORA | The clerk and recorder for Adams County has stated that one voting machine’s error in recording a vote does not hint at any wider problems in the county’s system.

Karen Long confirmed that a machine at an Adams County early-voting location failed to register a vote last week intended for Democratic state Senate candidate Mary Hodge. The vote instead appeared for Hodge’s Republican opponent, Robert John Hadfield.

“My understanding is she recognized something was wrong and she called the judges over,” Long said. “What they did is they canceled her ballot on that machine and reissued her another ballot for another machine. She did vote on a different machine.”

Long said that her office has quarantined the machine, as per the Secretary of State’s instructions. She said the office had not received any prior complaints about the machine, and that she is awaiting further instructions from Secretary of State Mike Coffman. No other errors have been reported.

“I have quarantined the machine. It’s removed and it’s sealed up and it’s in a bag,” Long said. “We’re working with them on what we do next.”

Hodge, a candidate for state Senate District 25, said she learned of the error from the voter.
“She said that she put in, got her stuff and it would pop up Hadfield. She tried it three times ... they moved her to a different machine,” Hodge said. “The state party had called in to check in on things ... They reported they hadn’t had any trouble.”

Hodge said the incident has affected how she looks at voting machines.

“I always just trusted the machines, and it opened my eyes,” Hodge said. “The way it works now, I’m told ... is that those votes throw it to Mr. Hadfield that we’ll probably have a lawsuit and a court decision. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder Nancy Doty said Tuesday that although a “couple” early voting machines in Arapahoe County have been problematic, the issues don’t rise to the level of incorrect ballots.

“We’ve changed out a couple machines ... but nothing like that,” Doty said.

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