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Voters Have Trouble At the Polls (WV)
Wheeling News Register. November 4, 2008. Compiled by Staff

Voters in Ohio County who headed to the polls early today were greeted by long lines of fellow voters and delays with several voting machines.

At mid-morning Ohio County elections officials said the major complaint came from voters who said more machines should have been available.

Toni Chieffalo, elections coordinator for Ohio County said she was unaware of machine breaking down, but noted that election workers have to recalibrate the voting machine after every 10 or more voters.

"I haven't heard of any breakdowns," said said.

"Our poll workers were taught they need to calibrate all day long. After 10 or so voters, the machines go out of line. It takes two minutes to calibrate."

One voter reported that at her precinct at Woodsdale Elementary School, two voting machines were not working, creating a backlog for the 15 to 20 voters waiting in line. She said while voting officials worked to recalibrate the machines, the wait for voters in line extended to 30 to 40 minutes before the two working machines became available.

Voters at Woodsdale School were given pencils and told to use the eraser end to touch the electronic voting machine screen while making their ions on the ballot.

Another voter said she was "extremely upset" because she experienced a problem with the voting machine at her precinct located at the Poplar Avenue firehouse. She reported that her vote was not correctly recorded and became frustrated at having to repeat the process several times. That precinct also reported problems with two voting machines. Voters reportedly were lined up 20 to 30 deep by 8 a.m. Some voters left the polls without voting, saying they would attempt to vote on their lunch hour.

Several voters reported a problem with machines at the precinct located at Oglebay's ski lodge/Par III building. Voters reported that two machines "went down" during voting early today.

No problems were reported early today in East Ohio despite a steady and heavy flow of voters at local precincts.

Chieffalo said she had requested 10 more machines for Ohio County, but the request wasn't approved by the Secretary of State because the machines were slightly different

Polls will remain open until 7:30 p.m. today and anyone still waiting in line at that time will still be able to vote.

"Anybody in line at 7:30 will be given a waiting voters permit and will be able to vote. Voters just need to be patient," Chieffalo noted.


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