An attorney investigating problems at Richland County polling sites on election day confirmed Thursday election officials did not deploy enough voting machines. After a hearing with the Richland County Elections and Voter Registration Board Thursday, Hamm said the county had 627 machines, plus possibly one more, that were sent to the county’s 124 precincts on November 6th.
During a hearing Monday Richland County Election Board Chair, Liz Crum, said the county has a total of 970 machines and that 45 were not working on Election Day. That would mean up to 298 machines that could have been available sat unused in a warehouse.
When questioned about the lack of machines at precincts on Election night, board director Lillian McBride told WIS the county had enough machines to service voters.
However Hamm said Thursday “There has been an ongoing recognition, since my involvement, by the staff that we didn’t have enough machines out. That is not a topic of disagreement.” Hamm said he’s still working to figure out why they didn’t put out enough machines.
Hamm said there are reports of machine battery failures in other counties, though it’s not clear whether those were as severe as they were in Richland.
Some Richland County voters waited as long as five hours to cast ballots on Election Day, prompting the investigation.
Attorneys also discussed who has the authority to fire the board’s executive director. Attorneys say the language of the law was ambiguous.