Richland’s Election Mess: 5 key unanswered questions, Day 4

November 20, 2012 

QUESTION: How many emergency machines were deployed and where? Which precincts received emergency technicians’ help?

As reports came in that machines were breaking down across the county, did the office run by county elections director Lillian McBride keep a written tally of which precinct needed – and which received – emergency help from technicians?

Did McBride’s office keep a written record of which machines at which precincts were replaced?

How many replacements were deployed – and to where? How many were borrowed from the State Election Commission? At what time during the day were state officials called for help?

Did McBride’s office know which precincts had the greatest need – whether from broken machines or simply horrifically long lines? Were those with the greatest need served first?

State Rep. Nathan Ballentine, R-Richland, reported that elections workers at 4 p.m. sent four additional machines to Dutch Fork Middle School when told that one of the four machines there wasn’t working. (Voters said it wasn’t working at 8 a.m.) Under the state’s rule requiring one machine per 250 registered voters, that precinct should have had 12 machines.

It’s unclear how many other precincts complained – and which got help.

McBride used 729 of the county’s 930 voting machines on Election Day and held back 201 machines. Did she hold them back for emergencies? Were all 201 in working order? Or was the emergency stock depleted, too?

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