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electionlineWeekly — May 10 2018

Table of Contents

III. Primary Updates

Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia all held primary elections this week and overall, things went well although there were a few reports of scattered problems in each state.

In Indiana, in Dearborn County, most of the counties ballot scanning machines were disabled by dead batteries. The county tested the machines a few weeks before the election and found no problems and the year-old batteries were supposed to have five-year lifespan. In Lake County, a kerfuffle broke out between poll workers as they were returning to the county government center. A sheriff’s deputy was called. Several counties, including Putnam and Hendricks, rolled out vote centers for the first time and feedback from elections officials and poll workers was positive. In Clark County, voters and elections workers both sung the praises of the county’s new e-poll books.

In North Carolina there were some issues and one polling place had to be kept open later, but overall things went well especially considering that many county boards of elections had not been fully staffed until recently. Voting was extended in one precinct until 7:45pm in Hoke County because the precinct opened late. In Robeson County, voting was extended until 8:15 pm after an accident outside the polling place delayed voters. A polling place in Franklin County was put on lockdown for a brief period of time due to a nearby shootout. Voting time was not extended. An issue with poll workers found some voters in Halifax County being turned away when the poll worker could not find their information in the e-poll book. Results were delayed in Wake County, but that was totally on purpose. The county put in place a new results reporting procedure this year in order to guard against cyberattacks.

In Ohio there were some reported problems with voting machines in Toledo and Highland County. Poll workers and voters in Stark County were pleased with the roll out of e-poll books during the election. Only minor problems, chalked up to voter error and input errors, were reported in Tuscarawas County. And in the secretary of state race, Democrat Kathleen Clyde will face Republican Frank LaRose in November.

And in West Virginia, there were not reported issues with the implementation of the state’s new voter ID law, although there were some problems about which ballots unaffiliated voters were supposed to use during the primary. "We've had a few isolated incidents in Mingo, Logan and Kanawha counties," Steven Adams, assistant communications director for the Secretary of State's Office told WVNews. "We've had issues with poll workers telling unaffiliated voters who asked for a party ballot, whether Republican or Democrat party ballot, that they can't do that. So we've had to obviously make contact with those county clerks to try and get word to those precincts that you absolutely can."