Richland’s Election Mess: 5 key unanswered questions, Day 2

What voters have not been told about the colossal failure of their election process Nov. 6

November 18, 2012 

QUESTION: How many voting machines were at each of the county’s precincts? What was the machine allocation plan based on?

State law requires one voting machine for every 250 registered voters.

Voters waited in long lines on Election Day, some in the cold. Many waited three to six hours. Some people waited seven hours at Ridge View High. At Ridge View and the Keels precinct, people were still in line at 11:30 p.m. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, chose not to wait or could not wait and did not vote.

Voters and precinct captains reported there were fewer voting machines than in 2010’s non-presidential election, when voter turnout was lower. Some precinct captains say they asked for more machines but did not get them.

There are reports that precincts that voted heavily against the controversial penny sales tax the last time it was on the ballot were hardest hit by the shortage. Anecdotally, that does not appear to be the case. Knowing how many machines were placed at each precinct – and whether there was a written plan – would provide a definitive answer.

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