[funsec] Voting fiasco in Montgomery County Maryland
Richard M. Smith
rms at computerbytesman.com
Tue Sep 12 15:28:55 CDT 2006
>From Slashdot. Someone doesn't want some of the federal government
employees to vote......
Montgomery to Extend Voting Hours After Election Glitches
County Polling Places to Stay Open Until 9 P.M.
By Debbi Wilgoren and Miranda Spivack
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, September 12, 2006; 3:52 PM
Polling stations in Montgomery County will remain open until 9 tonight--an
hour later than usual--to accommodate voters who were turned away from the
polls this morning because of a glitch that left computerized voting
machines across the county inoperable.
Circuit Court Judge Eric M. Johnson issued the order about 2 p.m., in
response to a petition by the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
Boxes of automated voting cards that are required to work the electronic
machines were mistakenly left behind in a Rockville warehouse in the run-up
to Election Day, elections officials said.
Early morning voters were forced to cast provisional, hand-written ballots
at Montgomery County's 238 polling places, while election staffers scrambled
to deliver the forgotten voting cards as quickly as possible. Several
precincts ran out of the paper ballots, and workers from at least one
precinct went to a copy shop to make more. Some poll workers, according to
witnesses, did not know the provisional ballots were an option and told
voters to try again later in the day.
The cards began to be delivered shortly after 7 a.m. and had been dropped
off at all polling stations by 9:50 a.m., election officials said, and
voting returned to normal. But for some of those who had shown up as early
as 7 a.m. to cast their ballots and could not wait, it was too little, too
"This is just obscene that we can live in one of the most forward-thinking
counties in the country, and have so many advantages open to us, and for
some reason we can't get our polls to work," said campaign volunteer Valerie
Coll, who was stationed outside Cannon Road Elementary School in Silver
"That's negligence," he said of the undelivered cards, speaking outside
Green Street Elementary School in Annapolis, where he cast his own ballot
without difficulty. "That's inexcusable."
She said precinct workers began calling the board's officers at 6:15 a.m. to
report that the cards -- which function like ATM cards and are handed to
each voter as he or she arrives at the polls -- had not been delivered.
Voters are supposed to insert their cards into the electronic voting
machines so that the correct ballot will appear on screen. Without the
cards, the voting machines cannot work.
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