Voting machines bring slow start to early voting

Voting machines bring slow start to early voting
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Some city leaders are calling for change and answers after problems at early voting locations Wednesday.

The issues came from the electronic polling books, where voters would sign in.

Workers at four locations said they didn't turn the machines on early enough, so they were still updating when voters arrived for the first day of early voting.

Some poll workers said they didn't know voters could be signed in with a paper check-in.

However, election officials said everyone was able to get checked in and everyone voted on machine ballots.

Now, Commissioners Tami Sawyer and Van Turner are asking members of the election commission to attend next week's committee meeting to talk about the problems and how they can be better prepared in the future.

Voting machines bring slow start to early voting

Members of the Shelby County Democratic Party said they’re concerned about issues they’re hearing from voters.

"All these issues have been reported to the election commission, but the reality is, is that they're still happening, so this is day 2 and I'm not going to wait until day 5 or day 10 to bring this attention to the public,” said Shelby County Democratic Party Chair Corey Strong.

Strong said he’s frustrated with what he calls concerning reports at polling places.

"There’s been several reports of that have caused issues and some impediments in people voting,” Strong said.

The reports include technological issues leading to new voters having to be manually processed, causing long lines.

Administrator of Elections Linda Phillips said the election commission is using a brand-new voter registration system, so they want to be extra careful.

"We’re doing the kind of in-depth audit that I would normally do after the election, but we’re doing it each day because it is a new system and I want to make sure that we understand it and that everything is perfect,” Phillips said.

Strong said his concern is that people will get frustrated with the long lines and turn around without voting.

"What the election commission needs to do is - if they need help and they need support they need to ask for help,” Strong said.

Phillips said her team is working around the clock to keep up with the influx in voter registration.

"We’re working multiple shifts, we’ve brought in additional we’ll get through them,” Phillips said.

Early voting ends November 1.

Click here to view our election guide.

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