One of Minnehaha County’s $110,000 voting machines froze up Friday during a demonstration for the Election Review Commission. Twice. The freezes could have been a metaphor for the election night woes that kept the state’s largest county from reporting election results until 14 hours after the polls closed: Nothing went as smoothly as promised. The speedy new machines — one of which broke down for 45 minutes on election night — were meant to help the county avoid a repeat of 2012’s last-in-the-state reporting. But they proved too sensitive, rejecting ballots with tiny marks in the wrong place as “overvotes.” Drops of coffee, food stains and light pencil marks caused rejection, too, forcing resolution boards to recreate and rule on 600 total ballots. They also went down for 45 minutes on election night.
The machine troubles were on a long list of issues discussed during the election review committee’s agenda for its first full meeting.
Voters also complained about getting the wrong absentee ballots in last year, while others were upset about being asked to vote at specific precinct locations a few months after a city election that used voting centers.
In Minnehaha County, a switch to a statewide address system after the 2012 election proved more problematic for absentee balloting than in other counties, according to Heather Irwin of the Auditor’s Office.
Full Article: Minnehaha election review highlights machine issues.