Editor's note: After Friday, July 14, the first day of Early Voting for the August 3rd general election/state-and-federal primary, various complaints were vented about the venues, about the new machines, about the process, or about all of the above. Here is one such report, from judicial candidate Regina Morrison Newman:
A little update on the fiasco of election day....
Yesterday morning at Miss Blvd (where I was), there were 2 machines down and a line out the door. Heard there were at least 30 machines down across the county. Heard from my field guy that at one poll, folks were being turned away because all the machines were down.
Discovered last night that the ballot on the machines is not in the statutory order (Circuit is before Chancery, etc.) so nearly all of the ballots being passed out are in the wrong order since the Party and everyone else did them in the statutory order.
Kevin Gallagher had told me it took the polling officials 20 minutes to find him in the system; my story is worse. Husband and I voted at Miss Blvd yesterday afternoon. Despite having my correct precinct on the printout I signed, my machine showed me the race for House 86 (Barbara Cooper) instead of House 90 (John DeBerry). I stopped and consulted the officials and we checked with the election commission which verified that I was in 16-01 and supposed to have a ballot for district 90. Husband's machine had been correct when he voted. They fed my info into the computer again, made another printout showing 16-01 just like before, but this time when I inserted the card in the machine, it correctly came up DeBerry. They had cancelled my first ballot. This whole process took about 40 minutes (with no line). I phoned O.C. Pleasant upon leaving. He attributed this to a typing error by the polling official - I am doubtful. The printout I was asked to sign after the polling official inputted the information was the same both times. I had those printouts in my hands and the precinct was correct on both. Something is wrong elsewhere with the system or software in my opinion.
I spoke with Barbara Cooper last night and she had heard a similar story from someone else - wrong house district. Most voters will never catch such a thing, but it is happening.