Fulton Co. elections director: Few voting problems so far

Troubleshooting voting problems

In Fulton County, we’ve heard reports of long lines and broken equipment, but the elections director says he’s happy with how smooth things have run. 

The county has come under fire in previous years for election day issues but, so far, these issues have remained minimal. 

Fulton County has 40 technical teams traveling to poll locations.  11Alive's Rebecca Lindstrom went inside the call center on election day, where poll workers can call in to get help. 

The county also had 10 poll observers from the Department of Justice as well as international observers and a few from the Democratic Party.

Director Richard Barron said they did have some problems at Therrell High School with the readers used to verify a person’s identity. 

Technicians had to reboot the machines.  11Alive also received calls from voters at the Adamsville and Tracey Watt recreation centers – upset that the voting machines were not working.  

Officials said they were unaware of issues at Adamsville.

"This is something we haven't heard and we've been in touch with them today throughout the day," Fulton County spokesperson Darryl Carver said.

Officials did not comment on voting problems at Tracey Watt Recreation Center but said that poll officials reported about 52 people in line by the afternoon and added that more booths were added there to take additional voters from a previously closed voting location.

"Meadows has been closed for 6 months," Carver said. "Letters were mailed to notify of new locations."

They added that lines there had been moving without issue.

Others have also complained that they were asked for party affiliation at the polls.  The explanation may actually be a misunderstanding.

"That question is asked in the Primary," Carver said. "If a worker did ask, they might not have been aware that it is not necessary to ask in the General."

Carver said poll managers have since been made aware to inform their workers that this is not necessary.

Barron said he’s still pleased the problems, so far, have been minor.  

"I mean, when you put 203 polling sites together, basically you open up 203 satellite offices one day that didn’t exist," Barron said. "You train 2,000 people to out and run them and then they’re gone the next day - it’s a big undertaking."

It's in stark contrast to 2012, when polling problems led to to 10,000 provisional ballots. 

At 7 p.m., workers began counting the mail-in ballots.  Those have to be manually fed one-by-one into a scanner. 

In another part of the same building are the machines that have been delivered to start counting the early votes. That vote count could be done in less than an hour.

Fulton County hopes to have all ballots cast counted by the morning.

Between those and the early votes, more than 262,000 people cast a ballot before Tuesday breaking a record for Fulton County – and exceeding the number of people Barron believes will cast a ballot in person on election day. 

See live election results and coverage at: on.11alive.com/elections

(© 2016 WXIA)


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