E-voting '08: Problems, yes, but it could have been worse

Scattered malfunctions caused delays but didn't appear to be widespread

"The line issue has been a concern for Secretary Brunner for some time," he said.

In Ohio, there were "no major problems to speak of in terms of activities at the polls" across the state, he said. The problems that occurred included "some minor hiccups in various places around the state" related to the voter-verifiable paper trail print-outs that are attached to touch-screen machines. In some cases, it took several tries to get the paper rolling as it's designed to, he said.

Leslie Amoros, press secretary for Pennsylvania Secretary of State Pedro A. Cortes, said that the elections went "really well." She acknowledged media reports of long lines and sporadic e-voting equipment problems in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other parts of the commonwealth, but said such problems were resolved.

"That's typical Election-Day fare," she said. "There have been a couple of voting systems going down, but they're being brought back up within five minutes. Overall, commonwealth-wide, things are going fairly well."

County election officials were directed to prepare for high turnouts -- as much as 80 percent -- which is very high, she said. "We have been work with counties for months to prepare for this."

There are 8.76 million registered voters in Pennsylvania for this election, she said, an all-time record. That's up from 8.37 million registered voters four years ago.

Jennifer Krell Davis, a spokeswoman for Florida Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning, said that were only been minor e-voting issues across the state, with the problems corrected as needed. "Those [problematic] machines have been replaced or repaired," Davis said several hours before polls closed. "Everything's going smoothly now and we expect it to go as well for the rest of the day."

In Colorado, Secretary of State spokesman Rich Coolidge said that no problems had been reported across the state by early afternoon. "Everything is going very smoothly," Coolidge said.

More than 1.7 million of the 2.6 million active registered voters had voted by mail or early voting before Election Day, and total vote turnout was expected to exceed 90 percent.

G. Terry Madonna, a political pollster and director of the Center for Politics & Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College, has been watching elections for decades and said this one is apparently no more problematic than in past years.

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