Voters Complain of Some Problems at Polls

6:18 PM, Nov 7, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - According to local county election offices, and the state Attorney General's office, there have been frequent problems at local polling stations on Election Day.

Voters tell us that machines have been jamming after inserting ballots.

On our 2 On Your Side Facebook page, more than 100 comments have been received decribing various problems cited across the region.

The state Attorney General's office says that it is reviewing complaints from voters to verify whether the problems are legitimate. A spokesperson for the office says that it has received complaints from Erie, Monroe and Suffolk counties.

The spokesperson added that the Attorney General's office is "trying to troubleshoot and resolve the problems, so everyone can get their vote cast."   The state says that a few complaints have been received.

However, many more voters are taking to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to display their frustration.

Eileen Sweeney, who voted at the Grand Island fire hall on Tuesday posted on Facebook: "I put the ballot in the scanner, but the machine got stuck in the 'processing'. The man told me to just go ahead and leave. Nothing I could do and never saw my vote finalize. I'm hearing it happened to others too."

Harry Provorse also posted on Facebook: "poll machine at All Saints School is down ... 250 Esser Ave, Buffalo."

Local election officials say that they're working to address the issues.

The office for Erie County commissioner Dennis Ward says that he is canvassing polling stations to make sure problems are corrected. The office says that inspectors at polls have been working hard to make sure things stay organized.

Complaints have also been heard from the Infant of Prague Church on Cleveland Drive in Cheektowaga.

One voter who casted a ballot in 19th District in Orchard Park said that he experienced a paper jam and that ballots were being slid into an emergency slot. Election officials say that these ballots will be counted and that they could be registered at the end of the night.

Election officials say that the manner voters put in their ballots in the scanners could be causing the jams. Apparently, when the electric bar code on the ballot is not picked up, the machine may reject the ballot.

Election officials urge voters not to fold their ballots and that scanners will take the ballot about 99 percent of the time.

This is the first time the scanners have been used in a Presidential Election. Experts say that the machines are three years old and that they should be performing well. Officials say the machines are better than older voting machines, because they leave a paper trail that can be physically counted to verify a voter count.

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