Lucas County voting begins Election Day with problems at the polls


Voting so far on new touch-screen machines has not been quite as seamless as local board of elections officials had hoped.

Lucas County Board of Elections director Jill Kelly said some voters left the precincts this morning without voting because the machines were not up and running. She urged people who had problems to return and cast their ballots.

“The places where there were problems have been resolved,” she said. “It really wasn’t a technology problem, it was a people problem.”

Ms. Kelly said that several of the county’s 2,000 trained poll workers had to be talked through some problems during the morning.

Poll workers at the Sylvania Senior Center could not find the machine’s memory cards and at the Toledo Board of Education building the voting machines could not be found. Those issues were resolved, Ms. Kelly said. And those coming to vote where machines were not yet up and running were given provisional ballots.

She denied reports that voters in some precincts were given the wrong ballot issues to consider. She added that as of about 9 a.m., the calls from the 495 precincts died down significantly.

Wood County residents in some precincts arrived at 6:30 a.m. only to find that the machines were not yet up and running, said elections director Terry Burton. But all precincts had at least one machine up by 6:40 a.m. and all machines in the majority of the county were available for voters by about 7:30 a.m., he said.

Mr. Burton said the problems were attributable to human error rather than to malfunctions in the machines.

“It was really a confidence issue,” he said of the poll workers. “After calming them down and walking them through the steps, we were able to get the machines up and working.”