Loss of power means longer lines for early voting

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - It has been a relatively problem free start to early voting, but all of that changed Friday. Long lines of voters waited even longer to cast their ballots.

Nicole Thomas did not expect to run into problems when she arrived at Berclair Church to cast her vote.

"They said the computers were down, so I said I have other errands to run and I'll come back," Thomas said.

According to the Shelby County Election Commission, an uninterruptible power supply died.

"Normally we have 4 computer systems where we check in voters, check their I.D.'s and print their ballots. Instead of having 4, we had 2," Rich Holden of the Shelby County Election Commission said.
 
Working at a slower pace meant long lines for voters, some who didn't mind the wait.

"This is such an important thing.  I would wait in a line to decide who's going to be the leaders of my country and my state," Thomas said.

Holden said the power supply is only used on machines during early voting.

"We use it in early voting to be able to more quickly process people and to assure that you don't vote at one location, then go to another and try to vote a second time," Holden said.
 
While it only took officials one hour to solve the problem, they said voters will not have to worry about the problem again come November 4th.

"If we have a power outage on election day, our voting machines continue to operate for 3 to 4 hours without any power," Holden said.

Great news for many voters who are excited be a part of history.

Polling places are seeing impressive numbers of people coming out to vote early.

The last day for early voting in Tennessee is Thursday, October 30th.