The Oneida Daily Dispatch (oneidadispatch.com), Serving Oneida, NY
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
By Caitlin Traynor, Dispatch Staff Writer
VERONA -- The six voting districts of Verona were forced to use paper ballots after a mishap with the lever machines.
Due to the improper setup of the machines, no votes were able to be cast for Verona Republican candidate Scott Musacchio. Since the polls opened at 6 a.m., 935 people voted across the six districts before the problem was reported to the Oneida County Board of Elections.
According to Democratic Commissioner Kathleen Perez and Republic Commissioner Pamela Mandryck, they were made aware of the problem around 2 p.m. and sent out a lever machine custodian to the Verona districts to adjust the machines.
Additional parts needed to be added to the machines to rectify the mistake and according to the commissioners, take about 10 minutes to complete per machine.
While the machines were being fixed 209 voters were required to cast their votes on paper ballots, which will be counted by hand by the board of elections. By 5 p.m. voters were able to use the lever machines again.
Musacchio said he’s not blaming anyone for the error. “I have a lot of confidence in the board of elections,” he said. “I’m confident that our Democratic system will prevail.”
He said he will contend the results if he does not win. He respects everyone he’s running against, he said, “But I want to win.”
Perez and Mandryck were unable to comment on what will happen to the 935 votes that were cast while the machines were set up incorrectly until they consult with the state board of election.
The commissioners said any problems they’ve had during recent elections have been with the lever machines. “They’re literally falling apart,” Mandryck said.
According to Mandryck, problems like this cannot happen with the new ImageCast machines.
“This really shows we need to move to the new machines,” she said.
No problems were reported using the ImageCast voting system in Oneida County’s pilot program in Marcy.
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