Dearborn County Clerk of Courts Gayle Pennington confirmed Tuesday night that most of the county’s ballot scanning machines were disabled by dead batteries on Primary Election Day. “We did our testing a few weeks ago. We sent our machines out (to polling places) over the weekend. Our inspectors had their (battery) packs. They went out and the batteries were dead in their packs,” Pennington told Eagle Country 99.3 following the final vote total. Only about 11 of the 45 machines at the 45 voting precincts throughout the county were operational Tuesday, the clerk added. The vendor for the county’s new ballot scanning machines – used for the first time in an election Tuesday – is Election Systems and Software. Regarding the batteries, Pennington said they were new in November 2017 and were supposed to have a five-year lifespan.
Some citizens have reported that they were instructed to stack their completed ballots outside of the ballot scanning machine instead of in a secure emergency storage bin found on each machine. Such keeping of the ballots could run afoul of the state election laws, York Township Democratic precinct chair Amanda Vinup-Noell alleged in a letter to county officials Tuesday (see below).
Pennington responded to that allegation stating that “Nobody stacked their ballots outside.”