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electionlineWeekly — May 26, 2016

Table of Contents

 II. Primary Updates

Voters in The Peach State went to the polls this week for state and local primaries and while Georgia may have had record-breaking turnout for the March 1 presidential preference primary, the same could not be said this week. That being said, early voting numbers were up from this time two years ago.

Despite the relatively low turnout, there were some issues. Voters were encouraged to report problems to the secretary of state’s office via social media.

In DeKalb County, a couple visiting a voting site drove their car through a playground fence at the polling place church and had to be rescued from their car when it dangled over a ledge at a 45 degree angle. Neither person in the car suffered serious injuries.

A voter in Atlanta said that a poll worker yelled at her when she brought notes into the polling place. Voter Jennifer Summer told 11Alive that she always does research on the candidates before an election and brings those notes with her. The secretary of state’s office is investigating.

Although the lights blinked, voting was not affected at a Forsyth County polling place when a transformer outside the site caught fire early Tuesday morning.

In Gwinnett County, one polling place in Norcross was ordered to stay open late because it opened late Tuesday. Superior Judge Tom Davis ordered the polls to remain open until 7:42 p.m. because the site opened late after a poll manager locked herself out.

The results in Douglas County were delayed till late Wednesday because the county was forced to do a manual count after a candidate dropped out of the race. Absentee and early ballots featured the candidate, election day ballots did not so they had to be counted separately.

And in Fulton County, at least 100 voters voted in the wrong Congressional race after a data glitch provided them with an incorrect ballot. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the secretary of state’s office and Democratic party knew of the data glitch, but failed to notify elections officials in Fulton who produce the ballots.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has asked for a recanvass of the Kentucky primary vote. Currently Hillary Clinton leads Sanders by about two thousand votes in Kentucky. According to The Washington Post, the Sanders campaign has offered no examples of questionable vote-counting or electioneering and went with a recanvass instead of recount because the state covers the costs of the recanvass.

The Maryland State Board of Elections has determined that about 1,650 ballots cast in Baltimore were handled improperly. Of those 1, 188 provisional ballots were improperly scanned in primary day vote totals and 465 other provisional ballots were not considered.

According to The Baltimore Sun, there were problems at precincts throughout the city, the review found. At only 75 of the city's 296 precincts did the number of voters who checked into the polls and the number of ballots cast match. At 11 precincts, there were at least 30 more ballots cast than voters who checked in.

"It is what it is," Armstead B.C. Jones Sr., Baltimore’s election director told The Sun. "It shouldn't have happened, but Baltimore City is not the only place where it happened."

Voters in Washington mailed it in this week and there were no reports of any problems. Turnout was mixed.

The primary cost the state $11.5 million to conduct and once again ignited discussions about changing the process.