TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - The voters have spoken, and we now know the winners of the 2012 election. Those answers didn't come about without a few problems. Problems for the Tippecanoe County Board of Elections came in the form of two broken optical scan machines.
"We had a paper jam in one and a motor issue in the other," Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey said. "We tried to get one full machine working, which we did, but it was still slow."
The optical scan machines count all the paper ballots. The county has just two. With those two malfunctioning, BOE members scrambled to figure out a solution. Members were able to replace the bad motor with the good one from the other machine. Another scanner came from Newton County.
"[We] contacted the company, GBS is our contractor. They found two of the same machines that another county used," Coffey said. "They brought those to us."
"The main problem was the paper ballot counting," BOE Member Kent Moore said. "We had to do half of those by hand."
Moore said it took the board 12 hours to count all the votes. They started at 2:30 in the afternoon and finished at 2:30 Wednesday morning.
"[It takes] 15 or 12 seconds or more [to read each ballot]," Moore said. "Multiply that by 1,200 or 1,300 votes. It just takes a long time."
Coffey said the board will discuss replacing the machines at their next meeting. She has already asked the company for prices.
Although it was a long night, BOE members said since there were no voting or computer glitches, it was a good one.
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