Hamilton County voters frustrated by technical glitches


Voters in Hamilton County reported wait times of up to three hours at polling sites on Tuesday.

The delays started early before the polls even opened, when poll officials discovered the cards they use to activate the voting machines were not working in half of them. That led to waits of up to an hour in some spots for the machines to be ready.

Some Hamilton County voters were told that their polling place was down and were instructed to return later in the day.

Some polling places pulled out their paper ballots to get moving. Those ballots will have to be counted by hand once the polls close Tuesday night, which will mean a longer wait for results out of Hamilton County.

Officials can't say how long that wait will be, but they expect to have to count hundreds of paper ballots as opposed to thousands.

Hamilton County election official Kathy Richardson told Eyewitness News that cards for each voting machine needed to be reset between elections. Those cards were reset on a demonstration machine, rather than actual voting machines.

"We've had to talk each precinct through resetting their machines this morning," she said.

The glitch led to a delay of about 20 minutes before some polling places opened. Heavy voter turnout added to the wait times, meaning that some voters waited up to two hours to vote.

"It had nothing to do with machines not working. It was the cards not being re-set so when they put that in, it was saying the card was invalid so from their perspective the machine didn't start. But wasn't a machine error," said Richardson, explaining the technical issue.

Even without the delays, Hamilton County election officials say the wait to vote in a presidential election is always longer. That's exactly what voters found out today at Hamilton South Eastern High School.

"This is my second time here actually and I had to walk away one other time. Two hours. You'd think with technology we could do it online or something," said Angie Richards, Fishers resident.

Fishers residents are deciding on whether or not to become a city with an elected mayor. Election officials say in some voting booths, people answering that question took up to seven minutes to finish voting.

Some voters say each polling spot needs more machines to accommodate the crowds like the ones that showed up here at Holy Spirit of Geist Catholic Church to vote. The wait time there was up to two hours as well.