Hamilton County voters asked to be patient at the polls

Voters wait in long lines, machines malfunction

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. - Hoosiers in Hamilton County experienced problems at the polls early Tuesday with long lines and broken machines, and afternoon and evening voters encountered hour-long waits.

Hamilton County Election Administrator Kathy Richardson said workers at each of the 203 precincts in Hamilton County had to call in and get instructions from the election office on how to reset the machines, which caused a nearly 30-minute delay.

Some precincts started using paper ballots, and then resumed electronic voting when the machines were working again.

The delay caused voter lines to back up at many of the polling sites, with some wait times of more than an hour.

 

RTV6 found the problems had cleared up and lines were shrinking by lunch hour, but heavy turnout kept people waiting in line regardless.

Most voters took the problems in stride.

"I expected there would be a line, so I'm not too concerned about it," said one voter. "I don't know exactly what the problem was, but they're working on it and I'm glad to be able to vote."

"It went fine, I think for all the people they've got coming out today, it went pretty much as expected," said Carmel voter Bill Utter.

Richardson asked voters to be patient as officials worked to solve the problems.  

A precinct inspector characterized the number of voters as "steady" Tuesday morning and said a lunch rush was expected.

 

"I voted here before and did a pretty much in and out, but I'm actually waiting this year so it's pretty exciting," said voter Tuesday Anderson at the St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel, where three different precincts converged to vote in the same room.

There were also some issues at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis early in the day. There were two separate buildings for voting on the fairgrounds, and there has been some confusion over where to cast ballots.

Several other locations in Marion County saw voters waiting shortly after polls were scheduled to open because of illnesses or other sudden issues that made election workers late for their assignments.

At Carmel Middle School, one inspector estimated voter turnout at an impressive 33 percent at her precinct, prompting her to place signs in a hallway to mark the spot where voters would face an hour-and-a-half wait to reach the voting booth from that spot.

 

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