The Searcy Daily Citizen


‘Homemade’ paper ballots utilized in White County

May 30, 2006


By Warren Watkins

The Daily Citizen


The 160 iVotronic electronic voting machines owned by the White County Election Commission sit idle and punch-card stations were used as mere desks Tuesday as early voting began in the Democratic runoff election.


Because of the sudden decision, the election for two Bald Knob races and several statewide contests began on time in the voter registration office at the White County Courthouse. One voter was standing in line waiting to vote when the final decision was made.


Officials were told by the Secretary of State’s office in a conference call Friday that the electronic voting machines were inoperable for the beginning of the runoff because of programming problems with the Personal Electronic Ballots (PEBs), cartridges that must be inserted in each machine during voting.


“I programmed the punch card machines and set them up for that,” said Election Coordinator John Nunnally. “I also created a paper ballot by editing the ballots we already had. In the conference call Friday, we were told we could create a ballot.”


Nunnally said there were three alternatives to the problem: Waiting for ES&S to reprogram the electronic voting machines, using punch-card ballots, or creating paper ballots.


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