Rhode Island Voting Machine Malfunctions Caused Delays at the Polls
A sigh of relief from one Pawtucket voter, as she finally cast her ballot. For some voters at Varieur Elementary School in Pawtucket, the wait to fulfill their civic duty took much longer than expected. Pawtucket resident Dominic Machado tells us he waited about 2 hours.
"Frustrating. Definitely could have got a lot of work done during that time."
The reason behind the wait? We are told, issues with the new voting machines.
"It stopped taking in ballots, and jammed," says Moderator Arthur Plitt.
Plitt says before noon the locations sole machine had already stopped working twice, causing a back up for up to an hour.
"We are trying to kind of catch up, and we’ve got a bunch of emergency ballots that we will have to put in after we have a lull or maybe after 8 o’clock."
Pawtucket was not the only city dealing with machine malfunctions, locations throughout the state including hope high school in providence reported issues as well.
"There was just a technical issue with the paper dropping; it was resolved with a technician," the Moderator at Hope High School tell us.
We caught up with Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea. She says the long lines were due in part to the new machines. They scan the ballot, and keep an encrypted copy at the same time that it is tallying the votes.
"It takes a few seconds more. But if you have two or three pages plus then you also have record turn out, it may lead to a little bit longer lines, "she says.
As far as the machine malfunctions go, she has this to say.
"I’m looking out to figure out what could have been done, if anything, to prevent some of these issues," Gorbea adds.