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electionlineWeekly — November 9, 2017

Table of Contents

II. Election Day 2017

Michigan: At least 50 Michigan counties debuted new voting equipment this election and there were very few reports of problems other than in Detroit where problems included issues with new machines and voting sites opening late. Kalamazoo was able to post election results in record time thanks to the new equipment.

Also in Detroit, unofficial election results have longtime Clerk Janice Winfrey keeping her seat 50.6 to 49.1 over newcomer Garlin Gilchrist. Gilchrist has said that he is considering calling for a recount.

Minnesota: Although the results weren’t in until Wednesday in Minneapolis’ mayoral race, the process was much improved from previous elections using ranked choice voting. When none of the candidates secured a majority of votes Tuesday night, counting moved on to Wednesday. The count came in an election that saw the highest turnout in two decades — 43 percent.

New Jersey: In Allentown, voting machines were inoperable all morning after faulty machines were replaced with machines that also didn’t work. “Voters are voting on emergency ballots,’’ said Allan Roth, chairman of the Monmouth County Board of Elections. “No voter has been turned away. They’re just voting on paper ballots.’’

In Jersey City, voters were delayed about two hours Tuesday morning when poll workers could not locate the voter registration books for the polling place.

In Sussex County, at least one of the touch-screen voting machines was out of calibration.

And in the governor’s race, Democrat Philip D. Murphy and his running mate Sheila Oliver were victorious. Oliver will now be the state’s chief elections official.

New York: Election Day 2017 in New York was a celebration of women’s suffrage, which was granted 100 years ago on November 6. Voters were given special suffrage “I Voted” stickers and once again Susan B. Anthony’s grave became a hotbed of sticker activity on Election Day.

One polling place in Broome County had to be evacuated due to smoke from a fire. Voters were redirected to another nearby polling place. Voters in Buffalo County reported problems with ripped ballots. Officials from the Dept. of Justice were on hand in Monroe County to make sure that bilingual accommodations were available at polling places.

Ohio: Election Day 2017 was the first experience for many with new e-poll books and there were few reported problems.

Some issues included a polling place in Tuscarawas County losing power for several hours. In Stark County, voters temporarily had to use paper ballots when several precincts experienced problems with voting machines. In Mahoning County, one tabulation machine that had not been reset was double counting ballots, but when the problem was discovered, the ballot were recounted.

Pennsylvania: Problems with election machines in York County could have allowed a single voter to vote more than once for certain candidates on Tuesday. The issue was discovered Monday, but it was too late to reprogram the machines according to York County spokesman Mark Walters. According to the York Daily Record, the problem, a technical oversight caused by an employee of the York County Elections and Voter Registration office, impacted candidates who appeared twice in a single race where more than one candidate is elected. The county hopes to have the problem rectified by the end of the week.

In Philadelphia, a candidate for Commonwealth Court had her name misspelled on the ballot.

Common Pleas Court Judge Richard E. McCormick, Jr. ordered that as many as 307 absentee ballots in Monessan (Westmoreland County) be impounded and uncounted until a hearing is held to determine their legality. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune, the court order came in response to a request for an emergency injunction filed late Tuesday by Democratic mayoral candidate Matthew Shorraw, who contended the county's elections bureau improperly allowed residents to vote via absentee ballot solely because they are 65 or older.

And in Susquehanna Township, a man was arrested for DUI after he showed up at his polling place to vote — on Monday.

Utah: Driven in-part by a special congressional election, turnout in Salt Lake County topped 37 percent and 30 percent in Utah County. Although clerks had expressed concerns about late voters flooding vote centers on Election Day, that situation never materialized.

Virginia: In one of the most closely watched elections in the country numerous Virginia localities debuted new voting machines with few issues. There were some problems with jammed machines in Henrico County and machine problems in Chesterfield.

This was only the second election when thousands of former felons were cast a ballot after having their rights restored by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) in 2016.

Concerns were raised by the ACLU and others when reports surfaced that voters were receiving robo calls informing them that their polling places had been relocated. Elections officials worked to spread the word that the calls were fake.

Odds & Ends: Oops! For a while on Tuesday, King County, Washington voters checking ballot dropbox information were informed by the secretary of state’s website that Election Day was November 8 not 7. The office quickly made the correction after it was alerted to the problem.

The biggest issue facing elections officials in Horry County, South Carolina was county residents complaining to elections officials when they were told that they could not vote in the Myrtle Beach mayoral election.

Connecticut had some problems with dead people on Election Day. In Montville, 92-year-old Max Kopko was listed as deceased on the voter rolls despite the fact that he’s alive, well and showed up to vote on Tuesday. According to The Day, Kopko’s brother died earlier this year and that may have lead to the problem. And in Danbury, after a Republican candidate for office died on Saturday, Republicans wanted to leave the name on the ballot, but Secretary of State Denise Merrill said state law is clear that if a candidate dies from 24 days to 24 hours before an election, their name must be removed.

A council race in East Helena, Montana ended in a tie but with two provisional ballots still to be counted, it remains to be seen if there will be the need for a recount.

Rochester, New Hampshire used e-poll books for the first time in Tuesday’s election and reports are that they helped speed up the process.