Some Voters Encounter Problems - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/02/04

Some Voters Encounter Problems

It's Super Tuesday, and voters in Georgia and nine other states are heading to the polls to pick a Democratic presidential candidate. Here at home, some people have had a few problems at their precincts. At Precinct One, the the Savannah Civic Center is getting ready to host a major wrestling event; also, some people encountered technical difficulties.

If you vote at the civic center, forget about parking in the lot. The World Wide Wresting Entertainment staff is moving in, blocking the way for those coming to vote. "They shouldn't block the parking lot on voting day," said voter Robert Jones. "And the fact that the machines aren't working."

The machines weren't the problem. To put it simply, the problems are being caused by two things. One, some of the poll workers and two, some of the voters.

"We go step by step with everything they need to know and I just don't understand," said Tony Mathews, chairman of the Chatham County Board of Elections. "I mean, I even asked them, 'Why didn't you?' 'Well, we weren't told that.' 'Well, yes you were.' They were told in training."

While many of the minor incidents with poll workers were quickly remedied, other errors in casting votes for this election were caused by the people trying to vote. Some picked up wrong party ballots and weren't able to choose a Democratic candidate.

"I can't vote because they're not able to pull up the presidential primary on the machines," said Jones.

"People are picking up the wrong sheets," explained Mathews. "They go to vote and it comes up just the flag issue and they say, 'I wanted to vote Democratic,' but they already cast their ballot."

What could have been a major problem turned out to be an isolated incident and was corrected immediately. As for Jones, he was able to vote and go about his day.

The bottom line is that most of the problems are caused by human error. Elections officials are asking people to take their time and ask questions if they need help. 

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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