Election Officials Hope To Prevent Another Debacle

11:18 PM, Oct 28, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Long lines were the scene at last year's election in Richland County. 

People waiting to vote for more than seven hours because of broken machines and not enough machines at precincts.

With the November 5th election one week away we sat down with the Election Director about how they are making sure the same problems don't happen again this year.

The commission has made several changes, one being implementing a call center for poll managers to call if a problem happens.

"All of those calls are documented as well, we are using a program called Share Point and all that information is shared and stored and we will use that for training purposes as well," said Howard Jackson, Election Commission Director.

The department has already sent half of their 947 voting machines to their respective precincts.

Jackson says for the first time the commission will use a real time tracking system that shows exactly where a machine is on Election Day. 

"I can tell you if the machines are currently being stored at the warehouse or in transit or currently deployed at their location on Election Day."

Battery problems were another issue that plagued last year's election. Now if a machine is broken, instead of shipping it out of the state, technicians will come to Richland County and repair the machine.

Also each machine is running on a more current software.

"These machines have never undergone preventive maintenance. These machines were bought in 2004, so just imagine if you have a car that was bought in 2004 and never got any preventive maintenance or  an oil change, you will have issue with it."

Another way to speed up the voting process, each precinct will have at least one laptop to look up a voters name instead of finding it in a stack of papers.

"Processes don't change, the volume may change but not the process, so if we can get the processes down for this small election hopefully when we have our June primary, then hopefully the staff is comfortable with the changes and the voters also understand some of those changes that have been implemented as well."



Most Watched Videos