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electionlineWeekly — September 15, 2016

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 III. Primary Updates

Voters in four more states — Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York — went to the polls this week to cast their primary ballots. Like many other non-presidential primaries this year, the story was the same — low turnout.

The day was relatively uneventful, but there are a few election administration stories worth noting.

In Rhode Island, the state launched it’s new voting equipment and by all accounts, things seemed to go relatively well with the 600 new machines.

In Nashua, New Hampshire, voters appeared pleased with two new polling locations that are now in school buildings instead of churches as they had been for the last two election cycles.

Some absentee ballots did have to be hand counted in New Hampshire after new ballots had to be sent out because the originals were too large to fit through counting machines.

Elections officials in Delaware are investigating why the state’s website crashed multiple times Tuesday night. Although traffic to the site was high from those seeking results, the state’s election commissioner said the crashes should not have occurred. "I'm sure it was massive demand, but also we have DTI looking into it" Commissioner Elaine Manlove told WDEL. "We thought we were covered for that, and DTI's working on why we were not," she said.

And Tuesday marked the first election in Delaware where ex-offenders who had completed their sentences but still owed financial restitution were able to vote. According to WHYY, one such voter Haneef Salaam, had not been able to vote since 2004 because although he completed the terms of his sentence, he still owed $100 in judicial fees. When he exited from the voting booth on Tuesday, election staff cheered and congratulated him. “It felt so good, everyone was happy for me. I was shocked, I didn’t think they would be so happy to see someone voting for the first time,” Salaam told the station. “It felt awesome, I felt so empowered to be able to have my voice heard for the first time ever.”