A calibration issue resulting from aging technology caused ‘mismarking’ of votes for some ballots in Richland County voting precincts Tuesday morning. By the time polls had closed on Election Day, Richland County officials said they were “happy with where we are.” Early in the day, Richland County Elections Director Rokey Suleman told The State some precincts had problems with machines “mismarking the vote” — or switching the selection to another name — because of calibration issues with the aging touch-screen machines. “If the calibration slips, you can touch it but the screen will select either above or below because of the calibration issue,” Suleman said. “The machines are just old, and we’re starting to see more and more issues with screen calibrations not being able to hold.”
In addition to calibration issues, Suleman said they were also having issues with battery failures and the batteries in machines not keeping a charge.
Suleman said that those issues were resolved by noon, if not sooner. He said there were no issues of note in the afternoon and evening as voters headed to the polls after 5 p.m.
“It went by relatively smooth as the day went on,” Suleman said. “There were no line issues in the afternoon caused by the voting machines.”