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althecat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-05 05:32 PM
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2. Obviously they didn't read this story....

State plans to investigate voting chaos; Tuesday's problems are latest for Lucas County


With the final Lucas County vote count from Tuesday's election not released until 9 a.m. yesterday - the last among Ohio's 88 counties - state officials say they plan to investigate the county's board of elections.

Carlo LoParo, spokesman for the secretary of state's office, said the poor performance Tuesday was "frustrating" because of previous strides made, including a glitch-free Sept. 13 primary.


Tuesday's vote was the first full Lucas County ballot to use the controversial Diebold touch-screen voting machines, which are one type of a newer voting technology being phased in across the state. The phase-in is part of Congress' response to the Florida ballot scandal of the 2000 presidential election. During that election, punch-card ballots were blamed for inaccurate voting totals. Congress passed a law requiring newer technology free of "hanging chads" in place by the 2006 federal election.

On Tuesday, former Mayor Carty Finkbeiner trounced incumbent Jack Ford 68 percent to 32 percent, or 47,352 to 29,169 votes, in an election marred by technical issues and the late returns.


Many interviewed yesterday said poor planning and use of a "rover" system for collecting the Diebold memory cartridges - which hold each machine's vote totals - were the major problems.

A rover would have five polling places to visit on a circuit to collect the touch screen machine cartridges. If one polling place was having technical difficulties, the other four would suffer too, and the vote counting downtown delayed.

Once collected, the memory cartridges were delivered downtown and read by tabulator machines at the board of elections office on the third floor of One Government Center.

Scene of chaos
But the scene at midnight was one of chaos on the third floor, with the special red and green bags holding memory cartridges and printed tapes of votes lining the hallways, piled on the floor in the elections office, and dumped in a large cart sitting unattended near the elevators.

Elections Director Jill Kelly - who was off yesterday and couldn't be reached - said on election night that "the community" had not responded to her requests for enough paid volunteers to help run the elections and that some had called off sick at the last moment, causing a labor shortage.

Patrick Kriner, one of the newly appointed Republican board of elections members and a past Lucas County Republican Party chairman, said a space issue in the board's offices also contributed, allowing for only six tabulation machines.

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