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Minor voting problems reported

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By Mitch Fryer
Thursday, May 21, 2009

KITTANNING -- Some voters in the county may have experienced problems with electronic machines during Tuesday's primary, according to reports circulating at the courthouse annex building on election night.

Armstrong County Director of Elections Wendy Buzard said Wednesday that the cases, mainly involving the casting of write-in votes, were isolated and were a matter of voter error and not a malfunction of any of the voting machines.

"We didn't have any technical problems with the voting machines whatsoever," Buzard said. "We had some calls about potential problems, but as it turned out, it was either voter error or they weren't understanding exactly how to do the write-ins."

Referring to a situation that occurred at a polling place in Ford City, Buzard said she believed the voter there was typing in a name but then not hitting "record write-in."

There were some reports also of electronic voting machine not accepting voted ballots.

"Sometimes when the person encodes the card, when they stick it in, it says create and they have to hit 'yes' and then it turns to clear," Buzard said. "Sometimes they hit that 'yes' button again and it clears it. We just have to re-encode it."

There was a delay of about 45 minutes in reporting election results transmitted electronically for public viewing at the annex building and before appearing online on the county's Web site.

"We had a minor problem with the computer," Buzard said. "The registration figures were not in like we had put them in, so we had to re-enter them before we could run the reports. Once we got those in and got it up and running, it was fine."

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