January 19th, 2008
11:15 AM ET
13 years ago

Voting machine problems reported in one South Carolina county

(CNN) - Poll workers in Horry County tell CNN voting machines have been down since polls opened Saturday morning throughout the county - the machines are not reading an activation card.

Workers have been giving out paper ballots but at least one precinct has run out of envelopes to seal them in (not a sign of turnout - they had just 23 such ballots on hand). Election workers say that officials have told them they are working precinct by precinct to fix the problem and that a few voting machines may now be running, but some voters have been turned away and asked to check back later.

Three poll workers also tell CNN the county has about 100 precincts and all have been affected. CNN is awaiting a call back from the county's election supervisor.

Horry County, which includes Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach, was a John McCain stronghold in 2000 - he beat then Texas Gov. George Bush there by 2,500 votes.

- CNN's Lisa Desjardins

Filed under: South Carolina
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Phil Memphis, TN

    PEOPLE– this is aRepublican primary. louis, HRC CAN'T win but thanks for showing that you just hate her regardless of the facts. Then soneone states "we can't trust our government". I despise the people in charge at the bush administration but the candidates are not "our government". who are you suggesting was responsible for this when you make a statement like that?

    While i agree that the electronic machines seem to have a poor reliability record, lets at least base our wild conspiracy theories on the facts, shall we?

    January 19, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. LQ Rochester MN

    Louis in NY
    Only the Republican primary is being held today in SC. The Democrat primary in SC is next week.
    Either way this is inexcusable, but not that surprising.

    January 19, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Jr., California

    Enter "Twilight Zone Theme"

    January 19, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  4. Greg

    It's only the Republican primary today in SC so why don't you leave HRC and the democrats out of this mess. SC has always been a Republican stronghold and if there's any funny business today you need to question the GOP "values"

    January 19, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  5. Jed in Texas

    Mario!Glad Im not the only one that noticed the Censorship has gotten worse.I wait for days on end as waiting for moderation and then get wiped out or lost in the shuffle.So much for free speech.As the song said,"Welcome to the Machine"or Meet the New Boss,Same as the Old Boss"!

    January 19, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. Barbara Casas-California

    It is not normal procedure to "not test the machines" until the first voter casts their ballot. If the procedure is followed as printed on the literature given to poll officers, the machine is tested the night before when the poll is set up by the election workers. If the machine shows that it is not working properly, the election poll workers have a phone number to call that alerts election officials to that fact. The problems are usually remedied before the polling station opens the next day.

    I have experienced voting machine failure myself, even a hour or so before the polls were to open, the officials were called, and the problem was solved ASAP. I have worked over 15 times as an election official, it is long hours spent dealing with many different types of people, a calm, well trained, and dedicated election poll worker is the best asset this country can have.

    It is too bad the government does not want to reward those whose diligence and forthrightness towards honesty and pride in their country to a higher degree. The moneys paid for this thirteen to fourteen hour duty is at best estimated to be less then the minimum wage of this country.

    That is very sad, and of course after many years, if one does sign up to work, it is with the idea of serving ones fellow man, not the renumeration one receives for long hours and very hard work. That is how the system has broken down, the ones who used to care, no longer do.

    January 19, 2008 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  7. mini, obama girls

    How convenient that the swamp water taste great and the the power goes out on one of the most important day in voter electorate history.

    This kind of sufficitication in tampering with the voters rite is advanced, and no different than the scandel that took place during the last election with voters in Florida.

    It has to be fustrating to see that this still exist. I thought this could only take place in Pakistan or Kenya, but this proves even in the western world, curruption still exist.

    January 19, 2008 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  8. Shirley

    This is just to funny, I knew South Carolina couldn't handle this. and were suppost to vote again jan 26, CNN your hosting the debates here on monday. I hope you thought of a second place, first choice is a bust.

    January 19, 2008 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. Red

    What do you expect when there are no American Made Electronic Voting Machines?

    Another example of CHEAP Imports.


    January 19, 2008 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  10. ciliziman

    It sounds like honest people don't have chance in politics even in America! Wow! So it's not the ideas that count but rather the images and liars, it's not the votes that count but rather the people or the counting machines. Is really this America of 21th Century?
    Obama 08

    January 19, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  11. atrain3067

    The problem isn't with the machines. There is a cartridge for each election, that's sort of a key to open a computer to be able to vote. Apparently, election officials were given the wrong cartridge (key) and the message the machine is spitting out is something to the effect of this voting station is not active for the selected election. Their is an authorization problem with the machines not accepting votes at all, so it's a validation problem. Some person distributed the wrong cartriges to the poll workers, and that's the major problem at this time.

    January 19, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  12. SteveC-Myrtle Beach

    I went in at 7:15 this morn to vote. The machines were down and the Poll workers didn't even know how to handle the paper ballots correctly. But we all figured it out. But I bet they just get tossed away. Very low turnout first thing this morning, but the weather here could be a factor. Ron Paul for President!

    January 19, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  13. KM

    This is only a primary. The responsible thing to do is to reschedule the SC primary for later in the primary cycle and be thankful to have the chance to fix this before November.

    January 19, 2008 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  14. chude dublin

    America wake up you are in the eyes of the world. Stuff like this should not be happening.Hope the democrats should not have same ordeal come later this month.
    G0 OBAMA

    January 19, 2008 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    Any body 08 but the individuals commenting on this blog

    January 19, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  16. Karen

    Would you stop whining that CNN is violating your free speech rights. They were nice enough to let me know that they have THOUSANDS of items to go through. They can't possibly get them all on. Read the hate being spewed on this site.... you really think there is censoring going on?

    You don't have the right to blog anywhere you morons. If you can't get posted here, go get a sign and stand on your front lawn!

    January 19, 2008 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  17. amused in canada

    You Americans are hilarious! You are the only first world country that cant figure out how to run an election. Hanging chads, broken voting machines.etc...what a colossal JOKE! "America, the greatest country in the world "? PUH-LEEZ!!! The wolrd is laughing at you...

    January 19, 2008 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Aaron Garrett Ottumwa, IOWA

    This is f-ing pathetic!

    BTW for those of you who arent aware DIEBOLD has CHANGED its NAME, it is now know as LHS... and still THE major voting machine company in charge of the elections... and is without oversight of the machines and voting cards.

    One of the CEO's even has a felony record...

    January 19, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  19. Phil Memphis, TN

    A Canadian saying the world is laughing at us. Now THAT is funny!

    January 19, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. Teacher

    Can you spell "FIX" boys and girls?And KAREN,since your giving out rights as to who can blog and who cant,As one candidate said yesterday,you know what you can do with the flag pole or the sign handle.

    January 19, 2008 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  21. Christian

    Dont blame us good americans for the problems and faults of our government. We only have a few great people in USA government that stand for the people, one being Ron Paul. He gets my vote next week.

    January 19, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. Jerry

    I looked up an article on the local newspaper in Myrtle Beach, South Carlina (www.Myrtlebeachonline.com) and found out that this particular county has "fouled up several elections in the past." McCains local campaign chairman, State Rep Stacy Edge, is now calling for the local election chairperson, Sandy Martin, to fired. I guess someone has to be the scape goat.

    January 19, 2008 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  23. Bob, Roxboro, NC

    Is there an honest reason we voters have these electronic devices shoved up our a##es?

    Paper and ink are bad enough when one considers what Al Capone once said. Which was " vote early and vote often"

    Electronic devices don't have any means by which suspicions can be confirmed or refuted.

    I would urge Americans to deny the system of this convenient means by which elections can be subverted and return to paper ballots!

    January 19, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  24. Mike Ludwikowski

    Gee, mostly what I see is a bunch of Liberals throwing up their arms about one county that has had so few votes it would harldy be a catalist one way or another in a presidential election. Leave it to the babies to find something to point a finger at and blame government and Republicans! Grow up! We don't live in a perfect world and a perfect world will never exist! Stop trying to create an utopian society and deal with the real issues, espicially holding people accountable for their actions, maybe if liberal programs didn't make it so easy for people, we'd be a better country. That's right, people would be left in the street and no I'm not saying anyone should be put their, but most choose to be there because it is easier to let someone else do the work. They would rather have some kind soal take their time and my money out of each day to give to them the necessities. DEAL WITH IT! LIFE ISN'T FAIR, STOP TAKING YOUR INEQUITIES OUT ON ME!

    January 19, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Bob, Roxboro, NC

    Mike Ludwikowski

    Forget your anger and learn english!

    Your diatribe's effect is lessened by the abundance of mis-spelled words.

    An apparent college grad,,,me,, I made it to 9th grade.

    January 19, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
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