Election Board: Votes Safe Despite Reports Of Machine Malfunctions

Tuesday, November 8th 2016, 6:44 pm
By: News On 6

Voting turnout for Tuesday’s election has set a new record in Oklahoma, and election workers prepped long and hard for the turnout.

There were some issues along the way – long lines and a few malfunctioning machines – but election representatives say, no matter what, your ballot will be counted.

Voter Ted Ghostbear said, "Nothing would have mattered. I came down here to vote, I'm going to vote."

There are 262 precincts in Tulsa County - crews tested each voting machine before sending it to the precincts, but, even with so much preparation, mishaps happen.

"When the machine malfunctions, and, remember, the machine is a computerized machine and usually it just needs to be reset and if it goes down, they call us and we'll send  a technician to go to take care of it," said Tulsa County Election Board secretary, Patty Bryant.

When you cast your ballot you feed it through and it falls into the locked bin.

But, say there's a malfunction with the machine, you then take your paper ballot and you put it in an isolated emergency bin. Once the machine is back up and running, precinct workers will then re-feed your ballot.

Bryant said, "It is done before the polls close at 7 p.m. so voters can rest assure that their ballot will be put in the voting device."

This is Taylor Hull's first time voting in Oklahoma. She said the paper ballot is a little "old school" but she actually prefers it that way.

"Considering how much technology is down all the time I think it's a lot more reliable," she said.

Bryant said a handful of machines malfunctioned Tuesday. Generally, the problem is fixed with a simple restart, and could take up to 30 minutes - any longer and a replacement booth is delivered.

Either way, the paper ballots count.

There are about 18 technicians who'll be available throughout the rest of the night should any more issues arise.