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Broward Co., Fla. Sees Smooth Local Vote

March 12, 2003

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ Elections ran smoothly in 12 cities in Broward County, which reported almost none of the voting machine glitches and poll worker problems that have plagued previous elections in the county.

Officials attributed the success of Tuesday’s elections to help from the city of Fort Lauderdale, which assembled a command center to oversee the elections, along with assistance from the manufacturer of the voting machines.

Low voter turnout, estimated at 15 percent, also helped ease potential problems. No lines were reported at polling places.

``They finally got the touch-screen voting right,″ said Donna Kinchen, 38, who cast her ballot in Miramar.

Three incumbent mayors lost to challengers in the election.

Most reported problems were so minor they wouldn’t have merited attention before the September primary, when precincts opened late across the county and voters had difficulties with the new touch-screen voting machines.

On Tuesday, officials were delayed in counting votes from one Fort Lauderdale precinct because a worker had shut down a machine improperly. Other glitches included a faulty voting machine and a leaky roof at a polling place.

``It was a very busy day, a very good day, a very successful day,″ said Elections Supervisor Miriam Oliphant.

Oliphant has come under criticism over financial problems in her office, which is the subject of an investigation by state prosecutors.

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