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Voting Problems Discussed, Planning for November Elections Underway

August 11th, 2022 by

electionAfter Tuesday night’s election, Joe Burgess of MonticelloLive presented a freedom of information notice to the county election commission, specifically asking for details of the technical issues with Tuesday morning’s voting system problems with the one cent city sales tax election.

A four person conversation soon developed between Burgess, Sheere Scogin and Tony Williams (county election commission members) and Nancy White, the county clerk.

A few people reportedly did not vote, because of convenience issues with this election, but the margin between “for” and “against” was so large, the voting outcome would not have been changed.

However in the November election, with 3 man races for mayor and county sheriff, irregularities could present a much larger problem.

Tuesday, actually only 3 events took place.

1 – Voting machines at Holmes Chapel were down one time, for approximately 20 minutes, when an iPad tried to update to Windows 10. That was solved by installing another iPad to operate the voting machines.

2 – First Assembly Of God Church, had a 10 minute time loss, when the iPad used for voter’s signatures had to be replaced.

3 – The Methodist Church, had a connection problem, a hardware issue, which was resolved in approximately 30 minutes.

First Presbyterian Church, had no failures and no downtime.

Aside from those three issues, for polling sites, with multiple voting machines, operated for 12 hours, successfully. It should also be noted, none of the failures or replacements could have been handled by poll workers, only election commissioners.

During the discussion, the commission agreed the first step to eliminating similar issues in November would be to keep an extra iPad at each voting center, mentioning that the voting centers also provided a 4 hour battery backup, in case of power outage or failure.

The topic of paper ballots being on hand, possibly unused absentee ballots was discussed. Although no decision was reached, it is believed that a backup system of some kind, would certainly be an improvement.

All involved county officials expressed regret for any inconvenience that was caused, and are working to make election voting in Drew County, as smooth as it can be, agreeing, “we are still learning by experience, but are doing all we can.”

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