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electionlineWeekly — August 28, 2014

Table of Contents

 II. Primary Roundup

Arizona: Canceled elections in Peoria aside, primary day in The Copper State was relatively quiet. There were a handful of reports about minor problems, but nothing major during the voting process anyway.

The problems in Cochise County began after the polls closed. Due to a software glitch of some kind — they are still working on it — ballots from Cochise County had to be transported to Graham County, which uses the same system, for the ballots to be counted on election night.

Although there are still ballots to count, Maricopa County is guaranteed an almost 20 percent voter turnout because the county received more than 369,000 vote-by-mail ballots in advance of the deadline.

In Pima County, elections officials used tablets for the first time countywide as a way to cut down on provisional ballots, particularly ballots for those who requested an early ballot but then decided to cast their vote on primary day instead.

There are still 1,700 ballots that remain to be counted in Payson and some of the races are within a 1700 vote margin. It is expected that the votes will be counted by Friday.

Flooding from monsoon rains limited access to one polling place in Douglas. Voters were directed to approach the polling place from a different direction to avoid flooded streets.

Results from Yavapai County were not reported until early morning because there were problems with the new vote-tallying system.

Several races in Tombstone were close enough that candidates were waiting for provisional ballots to be counted.

In the secretary of state race State Sen. Michele Reagan won the GOP nod and will take on Democrat Terry Goddard in November. Reagan spent 12 years in the state legislature and most recently served as the chairman of the Senate Elections Committee.

Florida: Although early voting numbers were down overall in 2014 compared to 2012, they were up compared to 2010. Vote-by-mail seemed to prove increasingly popular in the Sunshine State in the lead-up to the primary election this week. On primary day itself, turnout proved lackluster.

A group of registered voters admitted to the Miami-Herald that they would rather wait in line over night (which they did) for a new IKEA to open up than make their way to the voting booth on Tuesday.

When Hernando County had issues getting elections results posted to the county website, elections officials did the only thing they could…they turned to social media, Facebook specifically, to post the results while they worked to get the issues with the website resolved.

In Pinellas County a fire at the Vietnamese Alliance Church forced the county to find a new polling place just two days before the election. The new polling place, a recreation center, is located about a mile away.

A power outage in Broward County forced poll workers at one polling place to call the supervisor of elections office to verify voter’s ID when the power was cut to the machines used to swipe driver’s licenses. The machines don’t have battery back-ups. One of the precincts at the polling place saw no voters during the outage and the other saw 10.

Early primary day voters ran into problems in Palm Beach County with the mini-iPads the county purchased — for $1.3 million — this year to help check-in voters. About 50 voters’ licenses were rejected due to technical problems and those voters were given provisional ballots. Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said the problem was quickly resolved.

In Manatee County, five temporary air conditioners kept voters and poll workers cool at the Kirby Stewart American Legion polling place. The temporary units were brought in after the supervisor of elections office was informed that the building’s HVAC system was being renovated…during the election.

And it was business as usual at one Miami-Dade County polling place on Tuesday. Unfortunately business as usual meant campaign workers lining the sidewalks and shouting at voters in English and Creole, shoving fliers in the windows of passing cars and loud arguments. "This is a large precinct. There's a lot of voters, there's approximately 4,000 some odd registered voters. That means this. You know, the little fighting, the bickering comes out," Alix Desulme, former North Miami city clerk told WLRN.

Oklahoma: There were no major problems reported with Oklahoma’s primary runoff on Tuesday, other than perhaps the cost of actually conducting a primary runoff.

Although turnout numbers weren’t available by press time, based on reports, it doesn’t seem that the voter shaming website wwww.badvoter.org did much to boost voter turnout. David Glover, a “self-described political junkie” created the website, that allows anyone to look up any registered voter in Oklahoma’s voting history.

According to the Moore American, the site provides the voters name, city of residence and the number days that have elapsed since the voter last cast a ballot. Glover told the paper the site is meant to put some social pressure on people and hopefully increase Oklahoma’s notoriously low turnout.

Vermont: The biggest news out of Vermont following this week’s election was how the state’s new election reporting system would work. Overall they system seems to have worked and worked fairly well, but there were some issues including that the city of Burlington could not get all of their results loaded and worked until 1:30 in the morning before officials gave up for the night.