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Problems at the polls

By CAROLINE GABLE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Problems at the polls on Primary Day left some voters frustrated and waiting to vote at the polls for over a half hour.

Kate Eichler-Nicoletta was one voter who arrived at noon hoping to get in and out quickly.

But she arrived to a long line and answers that didn't make her happy.

"This is ridiculous," she said. "It is 12:30 p.m. They should have been prepared, and things should have been up and running at noon, and it's a sin. I've talked to most people in this line and they feel just like me. We're tried of it."

Poll workers at the Albany Street Elementary School location say they showed up on time, but some key information packets on how to work the electronic voting machines didn't.
Those packets included that ballots themselves.

Louis Joseph, a poll worker at the Albany Street Elementary School location had this to say:

"This here bag, was supposed to be here before the polls opened and we didn't have it," Joseph said. "But they picked up on it and brought it, and we got started."

Oneida County Democratic Election Commissioner Kathleen Perez says she is aware of the late start at some locations due to delayed drop offs, and says there are occasionally unexpected glitches like this on election day.

WKTV also received calls from voters at Hart's Hill Elementary and First United Methodist Church in New Hartford, where they also stood in line while problems at the polls were worked out.

Another major issue at the polls was whether the use of pens or pencils.

Election Commissioner Perez says pens should be used and were provided, but some voters used pencil at the polls. Perez says pencils still work if they are dark enough.

The State Board of Elections says that occasionally there are voting issues at the polls, which are grounds for candidates to call election results into question.

The Board says the burden is on a candidate to get affidavits from voters showing that they were turned away and that they would have voted for a specific candidate.

A judge would then decide if the number of voters disenfranchised could have changed the outcome of the election.

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