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Local Voting: Long Lines, Tech Issues And Strong Voter Turnout

Dan Gummel

Some would-be voters in Greene County experienced longer than usual wait times early on Tuesday. Elections officials say some delays were caused by issues with software and machines.

Many polling places around the county were still backed up by about 11 a.m., and hundreds of people waited more than 90 minutes to cast ballots at Victory Temple in Fairborn.

Voter Roger Delong from Fairborn says he didn’t expect to see so many people waiting.

“We thought we would hit it before there were very many," he says, "but as you can see there’s even more [people] now.”

Deputy Greene County Board of Elections Director Llyn McCoy says some of the county’s long wait times were caused by localized network problems.

“The long lines this morning were for when we were having issues with our iPads and the connectivity because signing people in actually on paper takes a lot longer and once the iPads are working, you could check in a voter one about every 45 seconds and that is what we are doing right about now,” she says.

McCoy says several voting machines were also temporarily out of service at Fairborn’s Nutter Center early in the day. She says poll workers have plenty of paper ballots on hand for any voters who experience machine problems at the polls.

Warren County Board of Elections director Brian Sleeth says a polling place lost power for over an hour but voting there wasn't affected.  The Tuesday afternoon outage also affected the board's office. He says backup generators were brought to each location in Lebanon, and the outage had minimal impact. Sleeth says voting continued and was "just a little darker than usual."

Amber Lopez, a deputy director at the Clark County board of elections, says that county has already surpassed their absentee requests from last election and so far today’s election has gone smoothly

“We didn’t have anything major," says Lopez. "We always have some small issues. We might have to go out and work on some equipment, but we were prepared for that.”

Polls in Ohio close at 7:30 p.m. Voters are casting ballots for the presidential election, a U.S. Senate race, congressional and state legislative races and local school issues.

Jess Mador comes to WYSO from Knoxville NPR-station WUOT, where she created an interactive multimedia health storytelling project called TruckBeat, one of 15 projects around the country participating in AIR's Localore: #Finding America initiative. Before TruckBeat, Jess was an independent public radio journalist based in Minneapolis. She’s also worked as a staff reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio in the Twin Cities, and produced audio, video and web stories for a variety of other news outlets, including NPR News, APM, and PBS television stations. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. She loves making documentaries and telling stories at the intersection of journalism, digital and social media.
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