November 7, 2007 - Poll workers report minor problems
Paper: Desert Sun, The ( Palm Springs, CA)
Title: Poll workers report minor problems
Date: November 7, 2007
By Nicole C. Brambila
The Desert Sun
Gone were the long lines and machine malfunctions at voting precincts in the western Coachella Valley that plagued Election Day last year.
But that doesn't mean there weren't hiccups Tuesday.
Some issues included out- of-service electronic voting machines, candidate literature at the polls and precincts doubling up at a single location, causing voter confusion.
Voters at the Cahuilla Elementary precinct in Palm Springs reported problems with all six of the voting machines. Officials offered voters paper ballots instead.
Poll workers at Club Trinidad reported becoming confused because two precincts voted at the Palm Springs resort and it was difficult to discern who should vote in which booths.
And some Desert Hot Springs voters reported feeling intimidated at the Paradise Springs voting precinct where they had to, among other things, get a pass to get through the gates, pass by at least two security guards and then exit the complex near a sign that read, "All Vehicles Leaving This Facility Are Subject to Search."
Art Tonica, an elections coordinator, said the registrar's office had stressed to polling officials last year after having similar problems that free access was required.
Tonica said Registrar of Voters Registrar Barbara Dunmore would re-evaluate the Paradise Springs site.
Election officials began posting early election results shortly before 8:30 p.m.
Slow returns have marked Riverside County elections since supervisors opted in 2000 to spend $14 million on electronic machines to speed up results.
Last year, county officials formed a blue-ribbon committee to examine the election night problems that included long polling place lines, machines that ran out of paper and an absentee ballot count that left the outcome of numerous races in limbo, including the 80th State Assembly District.
The committee's report blamed higher-than-expected absentee voter returns and the long ballot.
Voters did cast their ballots electronically Tuesday. The option will not be available for February's presidential primary, when Secretary of State Debra Bowen's order decertifying the state's voting machines goes into effect because of security concerns over hacking the vote.
Dunmore did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.
Author: Nicole C. Brambila
Dateline: Coachella Valley
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