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November 8, 2012

Turnout led to big Election Day problems in Clark County

Clerk says training issues caused problems; Republican party chair disagrees



Absentee ballots caused headaches throughout the day, Haas said. The ballots the county ordered arrived without perforations that would have made them easy to fold properly. Instead, the ballots were incorrectly folded and hence more difficult to be scanned by the machines, Haas said.

At least one voter had a problem writing in a candidate for president on her ballot. Cheryl Johnson of Sellersburg said that a poll worker told her she couldn’t vote for a write-in candidate when a voting machine would not accept her ballot.

“There were quite a few write-in candidates for president in Indiana, but apparently at our precinct we couldn’t vote for any of them,” Johnson wrote in an e-mail to the News and Tribune. “That is just wrong. I was disappointed that I couldn’t vote for the guy I wanted to vote for.”

Haas attributed Johnson’s problem to training.

“I can’t control that. That’s training,” Haas said. “That should have been covered at training. I will tell you it was covered at the training Oct. 29.”

But there were plenty of things about Election Day that went right, including no problems with observers, complaints of electioneering, few challenges to ballots and few incidents of political signs within 50 feet of polling locations.

Haas said she’d like to see the county change the way it handles elections going forward, and supports replacing the 72 precincts in Clark County with a much smaller number of “election centers” that would necessitate fewer poll workers.

“I just think we’ve got to go to vote centers,” Haas said. “Geographically, this county is way bigger than neighboring counties, and it’s just hard to cover all of that territory out there.”

The News and Tribune was not made aware of any voting problems in Floyd County.

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