WASHINGTON (CNN) – Rain in parts of North Carolina caused some early problems for voters using optical scanner ballots Tuesday, but a memo about using paper towels seemed to dry up the problem, according to North Carolina officials.
Voters were coming into voting locations early Tuesday morning and getting the paper ballots wet as they handled them, according to Gary Bartlett, Executive Director of the North Carolina Election Board.
"We sent out a memo to the county election boards asking them to hand out paper towels to voters before they were given a ballot," Bartlett said.
Bartlett was not sure how many calls his office received Tuesday, but he said it was very few before he recognized the potential problem and sent out the message.
The problem seemed to subside, Bartlett said, as he saw a drop in the number of calls reporting the wet ballot problem later in the morning.
Optical scanner ballots use a paper ballot that is filled out by voters in pencil and then slid into a machine that reads the ballot.
If the ballot is wet the machine has trouble feeding the paper and it can jam or tear.
Two individual reports of wet ballot problems were reported in Wake County, NC Tuesday, according to election officials.
Wake County covers the area around the state capital, Raleigh.
One wet ballot jammed in a machine, forcing voting officials at the polling location to replace the machine and re-scan the ballot.
A second ballot jammed and was ripped when it was pulled back out of the machine. The individual was allowed to fill out another ballot and the old ballot was cancelled, according to Cherie Poucher, Director of the Wake County Election Board.
One common problem in North Carolina is voters voting a straight ticket ballot.
The ballot is designed to put the vote for president in a different column when voting for a single party. Voters sometimes miss the different column to vote for President.
The ballot has been in use since the late 1960's, but questions by voters often come up, Bartlett said.
Counties were again warned of the problem and told to inform voters if they were going to vote a straight ticket, according to Bartlett.
Wake County handed out flyers to both early voters and voters on Tuesday to remind them of how the ballot works, according to Poucher.
"We have received just a handful of calls about this issue this year," Poucher said.