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Rain Isn’t A Factor On Election Day

November 7, 2018
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Rain Isn’t A Factor On Election Day

Despite the rain, a high turnout of voters came out early on Election Day Tuesday to cast their ballots at polls throughout Luzerne County.

As of 11 p.m., 179 of the county’s 180 districts had reported unofficial vote totals, which indicated 104,717 votes were cast in the county.

Tuesday marked the first election in which the county used new electronic poll books.

Paper poll books were replaced with electronic versions that the county purchased from Election Systems & Software for $324,800. For the first time, voters signed in on a stylus on electronic devices.

In at least one polling place, the new electronic device caused a problem.

It wasn’t working when the polling place at the Lehman Twp. municipal building opened at 7 a.m. and there was a line of people out the door, said judge of elections Cathy Simms.

“We rebooted it three or four times and it worked for a couple people and then it would go out and we would try to reboot it,” she said. “The last time we did it, it would not reboot at all. It was just dead in the water and a black screen.”

There also were two glitches with a voting machine. A technician fixed both problems, she said.

Simms said voters were delayed but not turned away as a result of the problems. She asked some area residents who needed to get to work or somewhere else if they could come back later.

“I just suggested that because I was hearing grumbling,” she said. “No one was told they can’t vote here. Everybody who stayed got to vote and got on the machines.”

As of 1 p.m., more than 300 people had already voted at the Lehman Twp. municipal building.

“I think it’s higher than normal,” Simms said.

A technician also was called to the polling place at the Cross Valley Assembly of God Church in Forty Fort when two of the four voting machines would not turn on, a problem that also was fixed, said judge of elections Kera Doty.

“One had to be replaced and the other one was fixed by the technician,” she said.

As of 2 p.m., all four voting machines were working and more than 400 people had voted at the Forty Fort church. As the technician fixed the two voting machines, voters cast their ballots on the two others, Doty said.

“Lots of people have been coming,” Doty said. “There have been no breaks.”

Doty said she likes the new electronic device where voters signed in.

“Now, if they came to the wrong place, we could print out a slip that says where they’re supposed to be going to vote and give it to them,” she said.

For some voters in Hanover Twp., polling places changed.

Ward 1 voters switched from the Hanover Green Goodwill Hose Co. to the fire headquarters on the Sans Souci Parkway.

Ward 6 residents who previously voted at the Askam United Methodist Church cast their ballots Tuesday at Luzerne County’s record storage facility at 85 Young St.

By 11 a.m., more than 200 people cast their ballots at fire headquarters on the Sans Souci Parkway.

“It seems like they’re coming out a lot earlier than they did last time,” said Marsha Sipper, judge of elections in the Hanover Twp. ward for almost 30 years. “We seem to be having a good turnout compared to the primary.”

In Hanover Twp., Sipper said the new electronic devices have been “working out really well.”

“We all went to a class to find out how it worked,” she said. “The county was very informational. They sent us an electronic guide so everybody had a little bit of homework to do to keep ourselves abreast of what is going on.”

Contact the writer:

dallabaugh@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2115, @CVAllabaugh

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