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Technical delays at some Tippecanoe County voting locations

Some Tippecanoe County voters didn't make it to the polls today because of technical difficulties at certain sites.

Posted: Nov 6, 2018 6:39 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Election Day morning, five different sites got off to a late start because of technical problems.

The West Lafayette Parks Building location temporarily shut down at least twice due to glitches.

Voters were frustrated and wanted answers.

Kelly Bol got to the Outpost at 5:45 a.m. with hopes to be one of the first in line to vote.

"They came out at six and said the polls are open, and the first person went in and she came back and said we are having some technical difficulties," said Bol. 

No one really knew what that meant.

"I thought no, no, no, no, no, not on Election Day," said Bol. 

She waited in line but others didn't have that luxury.

"A couple came in and took one look and said, no I don't have time for this," said Bol. "A few others waited in line for a little bit and decided they would go to another site."

Bol was the fourth person in line at 6 a.m. but ended up voting 40 minutes after polls were supposed to open.

"I actually voted at 20 til seven," said Bol. 

Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey explained the technical difficulties did not impact the voting machines, just the machines used to register voters. 

"Our e-poll book uses two different programs so there's the Vote-Safe e-poll book that has the registration system in it and then there's what's called the VC Programmer, which actually does the card programming," said Coffey. "And those two systems have to talk, when they don't talk, it makes it very difficult to process voters."

Some voters wish that could have been explained while people were waiting.

Keith MacDonald didn't really have the time to wait in line and then go wait in another line somewhere else to vote.

"But I'm going to make time, it's an important election," said MacDonald. 

Bol feels the Tippecanoe County Election Board should have extended the hours because of the delays.

"They should make up the time that was lost at each site," said Bol. 

But for that to happen Coffey said the situation has to be pretty extreme. At the very least, MacDonald and Bol hope the next election is better.

"If they could have an IT person on site at each site that would be great," said Bol. 

"And they need to actually educate the volunteers more on what to do when this happens," said MacDonald. "Because they just look clueless, I feel bad for them too."

All locations impacted by the technical difficulties include The Outpost, Federated Church, Fire Station #5, Evangelical Covenant, West Lafayette Parks Building and the Morton Center.

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