Voting locations see election day problems due to "aging equipment"

A sign at the Mears Middle School voting location, one of around 10 places effected by technical issues with the vote counting machines.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - 12:30 P.M. UPDATE:

Voters reported having issues this morning at the Eagle River Library polling location when they were unable to cast their votes due to a lack of ballots.

According to Amanda Moser with the Municipal Clerks Office, this was due to the worker who was meant to bring the ballots being late.

Moser said that they hire over 700 people, at over 120 polling locations, and sometimes these issues come up. They dispatched additional support staff to retrieve the ballots, but some people wishing to vote this morning still wound up unable to.

Voters who arrived before 7 a.m. this morning were informed that their options were either to wait until the ballots arrived, come back and vote later, or vote an via an absentee ballot elsewhere.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Multiple voting locations are facing issues Tuesday morning as voters make their way to sites across town to cast their ballots for assembly members, school board representatives, and multiple propositions.

Voters Tuesday had to put their ballots in "emergency compartments," in a separate partition to the side of the polling boxes, as election staffers worked on replacing the malfunctioning equipment.

Amanda Moser, a deputy clerk with the Municipality of Anchorage and who is overseeing the election, said that they were observing "challenges with AccuVote," the scanning machine that usually takes your ballots from you and tabulates your votes. Moser also said memory cards were proving to be problematic.

She said replacement devices had already been dispatched as of 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, and technicians were working on installing them in the "roughly 10 sites" that were affected.

Moser said this is an issue that has been seen from time to time over the last several years due largely in part to old hardware. "We have some aging equipment, and that tends to see more challenges in voting," Moser said.

Moser did not have a complete list of the polling locations that have been effected by the equipment failure, however voters at the Mears Middle School and Alaska Zoo locations said they had to place their ballots in the emergency compartments to the sides of the machines there.

Despite these issues, Moser said that if you vote today and your ballot is placed in one of those emergency compartments, your vote will still be counted for the tabulation of today's election results.

"The protocol for using the emergency compartments is in place for just such cases," Moser said.