Watertown Daily Times

Serving Northern New York's Jefferson, Lewis, & St. Lawrence Counties


Glitches reported with voting machines






WADDINGTON St. Lawrence County's Board of Elections found itself facing problems with its Web site Tuesday night, and with voting machines during the day in Waddington and elsewhere.


No winner has been named in the race for Waddington Town Supervisor due to malfunctioning voting machines.


As of shortly after midnight, Republican candidate Mark Scott was leading Democratic incumbent William R. Dalton for Waddington town supervisor 212-151, according to unofficial results posted on the St. Lawrence County Web site. These results included only one precinct and did not include the emergency ballots filled out during the hours that voting machines were disabled.


Town Clerk Carol Burns said the machines broke down before 9 a.m. and remained inoperable into the afternoon. She said at least 100 emergency ballots were filled out before the machines were back on.


Officials said the elections equipment has been impounded across the congressional district and that official results will be unavailable for an undetermined period of time.


Julie L. Rolfe, deputy Democratic commissioner of the St. Lawrence County Board of Elections, said the county elections officials will not have access to the equipment until the results are tallied.


"Because of the impoundment, no one from our office can touch our election supplies until the impoundment has been lifted. They are being locked in a secure facility," she said.


Mr. Dalton said he was annoyed by the situation.


"It's a pain. They said we might have to wait a week for the results," he said.


Similar problems occurred in the towns of Louisville, Rossie and Claire.


Earlier in the day, Eileen M. Boots, site coordinator at the Massena Community Center, said poll workers there encountered some difficulties making sure voters were given the proper ballot for their district. Districts 8, 9 and 10 have been consolidated into one registration location this year, which created some confusion in passing out ballots, Ms. Boots said.


"I wish we had a smoother way of signing them in," she said. "We have three districts coming to one table now, so we've been ironing out some of the glitches as we've gone along. People have been very nice and very patient."


Results for the town of Waddington as well as the others will be posted on the county Board of Elections Web site as soon as they are available.