While turnout was steady Tuesday morning in Randolph County, there were a couple of issues with machines, according to Probate Judge George Diamond.
The issues with the ES&S machines included a ballot jam and a scanner head outage, causing some voters to have to turn in their ballots by hand. When officials tested the machines at the 23 precincts in Randolph County two weeks ago, no problems were identified, but Judge Diamond said county officials were prepared when things went awry.
Around 7:47 a.m., the Swagg polling precinct reported a ballot jam in one of the machines. Diamond sent out a Randolph County employee as a technician to fix the problem. That county employee has been trained on how to set up machines and how to test them, Diamond said.
"They fixed the jam," Diamond explained. "He opened the emergency slot and put the ballots that [were] there, you know, that voted before my technician got there, and he put them in the emergency slot. Those ballots, if I had to guess, will be put through the machine when the polls close."
The problem was fixed within 15 minutes, and voting went back to normal at the Swagg precinct.
Diamond said he was unable to call the ES&S worker that was in the county during voting because that person was already working on another problem at the New Hope precinct.
"It might have been a scanner head problem or something," Diamond explained. "I had to send an ES&S technician to that call and we switched the machine out and put a spare machine in."
The New Hope machine that was experiencing issues never took a ballot. Diamond said it messed up with the first voter, and there was one other person in the polling place at the time waiting to vote. They were able to replace the machine.
While Diamond said technical issues are expected on Election Day, he has not experienced any issues with machines that would impact ballot counts.
"I don't think that we've never had an internal issue with a machine," said Diamond. "So, we do pretty good there."
If you experience an issue while voting, officials ask that you contact your local probate judge or the Alabama Secretary of State's Office.
Polls close at 7 p.m. To view a sample ballot in your county, click here.
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