Election day begins with long lines, small stumbles

9:40 AM, Nov 6, 2012   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. - It didn't take long for a small election day stumble in the city of St. Paul.

Someone tweeted that voting was delayed about 15 minutes when the machines at precinct 4 wouldn't accept voter ballots. It was then discovered that the location had actually been sent from precinct 5.

Ramsey County Elections Manager Joe Mansky confirms that the mixup did occur, but says the ballots were quickly swapped out and voting resumed.

Mansky also says that the list of candidates running for office in the two precincts is identical, so there was no chance of voter fraud.  

St. Paul certainly doesn't have a hold on the voting glitch market; In Minneapolis, a handful of voting tabulators weren't functioning. Hennepin County Elections Spokesperson Rachel Smith says voting continued while the machines, known as the M100 Tabulator, were down.

Smith says the machines have an auxiliary door on the side of the machine where ballots are placed, and once the machines are operating again the ballots are tabulated. She insists all the machines are tested before they are shipped out to polling places, but they are very fragile and sometimes in transit they get jostled around.

Long lines are a bigger issue in Minneapolis. At some polling places on the city's near south side lines stretched around a city block and waits were being estimated at between 90 minutes and two hours.

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