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Voting machines malfunction in 13 Westmoreland precincts

Rich Cholodofsky
| Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 4:50 p.m.

Voters in 13 precincts throughout Westmoreland County were forced to cast paper ballots on Tuesday morning when as many as 30 electronic voting machines briefly malfunctioned as polls were opening for the primary.

“Everyone who wanted to vote voted,” said Elections Bureau Director Jim Montini.

Officials believe an external flash drive used to input data in the machines may have been corrupted, causing the computers to malfunction.

The first problem was discovered shortly after 6 a.m. The polls opened at 7 a.m.

“We're still investigating the cause,” Montini said.

Montini said about 325 emergency paper ballots were used in the affected precincts until the machines were put back online.

It took about 2 12 hours to complete the repairs, he said.

The precincts affected were Salina in Bell Township; Peanut, Derry Township; Fairfield Township; Hannastown and Middletown in Hempfield Township; Hunker Borough and Hecla in Mt. Pleasant Township, Pershing Heights, New Kensington; 4-2 (Christ Methodist Church on Coulter Road), North Huntingdon Township; Lowber in Sewickley Township; Beatty, Unity Township; and the 2nd Ward in Vandergrift.