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Technical difficulties at polls have little impact on voter experience

According to Huntsville city officials, when the polls first opened Tuesday morning, three out of the sixteen precincts in district two had issues with the tablets that are used to check people in.

Posted: Oct 9, 2018 7:34 PM

Polls opened on Tuesday for the district two city council run-off election and, according to city officials and most voters, everything ran smoothly.

The candidates vying for the position are Frances Akridge and Mary Jane Caylor.

Huntsville city officials tell WAAY 31 there were a few minor technical difficulties this morning, but they were taken care of quickly.

WAAY 31 talked with voters about their experience at the polls.

“It’s just important to us to vote," said Michelle Archer. "You can’t complain if you don’t vote.”

Archer and her husband exercised their right to vote on Tuesday and she says nothing went wrong.

“It was a simple process today. You just go in, show your ID, they scan it, hand you a receipt, you go pick up your ballot and out you go," said Archer.

And she’s not the only one who had a pleasant experience at the polls.

“There was no line or delay. We walked right in and we were the only folks in there at the time," said Amy Guerin. "Handed over my ID, got a ballot, and was in and out in probably less than five minutes.”

But that wasn’t the case for everyone.

According to Huntsville city officials, when the polls first opened Tuesday morning, three out of the sixteen precincts in district two had issues with the tablets that are used to check people in.

“Some of those were malfunctioning. We had technicians on site rather quickly and they got those fixed," said city spokesperson, Kelly Schrimsher. "And for those voters who wanted to go ahead and vote, we just went to the back-up paper system.”

But some people told WAAY 31 the delay messed with their schedule.

“I can understand people being frustrated, but the poll is open until 7:00, so there’s time to come during lunch. There’s time to come after work. There’s time to get here," said Guerin.

And even with the malfunctions, Archer says she thinks the tablets are worth keeping.

“We definitely have to keep up with technology," Archer said. "This is from a person who’s on the other side of the technology wave: I think it’s a wonderful thing.”

According to city officials, there were no reported issues with the new electronic poll books.

Precincts will be open until 7:00 p.m. Tuesday.

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