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Glitches with voting machines cause problems in Cayuga County (NY)
The Post-Standard. November 4, 2009. By Charley Hannagan
Original: http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/11/glitches_with_voting_machines.html

Auburn, NYVoters will learn later today the outcome of several close races in Cayuga County where glitches were reported with new voting machines.

The county experienced problems to varying degrees in several locations, including a machine that crashed at least twice in Fleming, printing on ballots that was smudged or had problems with toner that some sensitive voting machines wouldn’t read, and voter error, Democratic Elections Commissioner Katie Lacey said this morning.

“The machines weren’t all equally sensitive to the same problem,” she said. “We had ballots that would go in one machine and be rejected two or three or four times, and then you could take the same ballot to another machine and it would go right through.”

Cayuga County had 39 new machines as part of a state pilot program. Six of the county’s 23 towns had to have ballots reprinted because machines kept rejecting them, Lacey said.

One of the positive aspects of being in the pilot program is that it allows the elections board to work out the kinks before it must use them for a major election that generates a large turnout, Lacey said.

The Board of Elections will hand count ballots for the towns of Owasco and Sennett, which had very close races and large voter turnout, she said. It’s likely those races will be settled by the results of the absentee ballots, Lacey said.

A hand count will also take place in Fleming where the machine crashed, Lacy said.

The results of those races should be available later today, she said.

The county will also perform random hand counts in other towns to verify the accuracy of the machines, Lacey said.

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