Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Glitches thwart some S.C. voters

By Pamela Hamilton, The Associated Press, November 2, 2004


COLUMBIA, S.C. - Technical glitches with voting machines and disputes over poll watching caused delays and frustrated some voters at precincts across South Carolina.


Voters at two of 137 precincts in Greenville County had to use paper ballots after workers had problems setting up touch-screen machines, State Election Commission officials said.

About 65 voters at a precinct in Mauldin used paper ballots while technicians from Electronic Systems & Software got the iVotronic machines working properly, officials said. The machines were up and running by 8:30 a.m. - 90 minutes after polls opened, said poll worker Rebecca Wood.

Wood said some voters left in frustration. "Some people had to leave, but the attitudes were wonderful," she said. "I know they were frustrated."

Poll workers marked the paper ballots with the word "emergency" to create a paper trail, Wood said.

Greenville County is one of 15 in South Carolina using electronic voting machines.

Along the coast, Georgetown County also experienced some glitches with the machines.

Voters in four precincts had to switch to paper ballots during the first hour while officials sorted out problems with the devices. They were up and running within 90 minutes, said Herb Bailey, chairman of the county commission.

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