November 4th, 2008
08:40 AM ET
11 years ago

Forgotten, wet ballots slow down voting in North Carolina

 Raleigh scanners are having trouble handling ballots that are wet from rain dripping off of soaked voters.

Raleigh scanners are having trouble handling ballots that are wet from rain dripping off of soaked voters.

Raleigh, NC (CNN) – A soggy and delayed start to the voting day in a Raleigh, North Carolina, precinct, after some confusion at the polling station. Wake County Board of Elections director Cherie Poucher reported there were problems this morning at the Barwell Road Community Center (formerly the Ebenezer Church Road precinct). She confirmed that the chief judge forgot to take the ballots out of her grandson's truck when being dropped off this morning. The elections director says the truck drove away, and the judge wasn't able to track down her grandson. The Board of Elections delivered new ballots and voting began at 7:06am, 36 minutes behind schedule. Approximately 300 people were waiting in line.

"When the board meets today, I expect that they will vote to keep the precinct open an additional 36 minutes," Poucher added.

Rain has also been a factor this morning in Wake County, North Carolina. Soaking voters dripped water onto their ballots as they were filling them out, causing problems for the optical scanners.

"When we put the ballot through the scanner it is soggy and doesn't go through," Poucher said. "One ripped and got stuck when the voter tried to get it out." The scanner then had to be taken out of service.

Poucher said voters with soggy ballots were being asked to deposit them in the emergency ballot box. When they are dried and the scanners are back up and running, the ballots will be put through the optical scanners, the official added.

Poucher said that voters will not be inconvenienced because of this situation.


Filed under: Voter Problems
soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Joey

    Wow ballots are going to mysteriously disappear and more than likely reappear. Someone track those missing ballots to make sure there isn't any funny business!

    November 4, 2008 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  2. arc, Lugano CH

    McCain cannot win honestly. The GOP and the McCain campaign are going to commit election fraud.

    November 4, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  3. Jamal

    GIVE ME A BREAK!

    November 4, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  4. Angel

    OH REALLY? ANOTHER IMPORTANT STATE..Hmmmm....I WONDER WHY?

    November 4, 2008 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  5. 150 G's for my Clothes!

    They are already trying to steal this election. You know, there are never problems in RED STATES in the South that aren't battleground states.

    You won't have a problem from Alabama or Mississippi or here in Kentucky.

    Democracy seems to be on it's way to being hacked again.

    November 4, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  6. Claire

    What a shock that a state that Obama can take from the Republicans is having "voting troubles". SHOCKING!!

    November 4, 2008 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  7. PA/Blue

    All these people should be fired...how can they be so irresponsible.
    Is this election a joke to them, how difficult is it for them to do their job.

    Toot, may you watch over your grandson and may this be his day and his year....

    November 4, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  8. ines

    The problem with some soggy ballots will not effect the daily voting in the long run.

    VOTE for our country.

    November 4, 2008 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  9. nicolevoter

    That's just plain, unadulterated, bull crap!

    November 4, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  10. mireille juste

    THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA YOU BRING OUT THE BEST IN ALL OF US

    GOD BLESS THE USA

    November 4, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  11. SC BLUE

    aren't they voting INSIDE the building??? How are the ballots getting wet?

    November 4, 2008 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
  12. Matthew R

    In the brief time that I have been of age to vote, I've never voted early. I had previously enjoyed the chaos of election day, but decided to vote early this year. I was shocked at the number of fellow voters waiting in line for early voting. It was early in the morning, and hundreds of voters stood in line for at least 2 hours to cast their ballot. For a city as small as Little Rock, this is no small feat.

    November 4, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  13. mireille juste

    OBAMA FOR PURIFICATION OF THE WORLD
    PRESIDENT OBAMA JUST BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN ALL OF US

    November 4, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  14. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    Uh Oh – the people doing the scanning later "might be selective" – This needs to be watched VERY carefully. Recount if necessary.

    Obama/Biden '08

    November 4, 2008 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  15. alex new york

    these reports are just sickening! my mother went to cast her vote this morning in her voting district and she had to fill out a paper ballot because her name was not in the book-again!!!! same happened in '04!!!!

    November 4, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  16. BOB S S

    WITH 33.8 MILLION FOREIGN DOLLARS , AND THEY COULDN'T AFFORD COVER FOR BALLOTS. YET THEY COULD DIG UP THE DEAD.

    WHAT DOES OBAMA STAND FOR. NOBODY CAN ANSWER THAT QUESTION . ONE THING SURE HE DOES NOT UNDERSTAND AMERICAN VALUES.

    OBABAMA THE FLIP FOPPER , OF ALL FLIPS .
    TIDDLEY WINKS. , NO SUBSTANCE , JUST LIES.
    NO TO OBAMA NOOOOOoooooooooooooooooo

    November 4, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  17. Charlotte Wales

    and what happens to the paper ballots that get stuck together because they're wet? Lost votes – how very convenient!

    November 4, 2008 09:05 am at 9:05 am |
  18. TBALOM

    Samuel Miller Senior Housing Facility
    256 Clifton Ave.
    Mount Holly, NJ

    Big problems. As the one machine was down poll officials were trying to get voters to cast provisional ballots instead of emergency. I see Willingboro, NJ is having problems as well. Looks like NJ and NC and VA is where today's suppression begans.

    November 4, 2008 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  19. Sad voter in Arizona

    What are we doing to prevent those ballots from being used?

    November 4, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  20. Seriously?

    She forgot them in her grandson's truck? Give me a break!

    November 4, 2008 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  21. Desmond Sequeira

    From a non-US citizen: Today most of the USA will prove whether it has a good God or one that spawns "SMEAR AND FEAR AND LIES"

    November 4, 2008 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  22. GAWoman4Obama, Atlanta

    They are trying to steal this election. Why weren't those ballots at the location last night. The american people are not going to let them steal this election form us.

    November 4, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  23. JJ in Canada

    Good God, can't you guys come up with a better voting system? No other country in the Free World screws it up as badly as you do every election.

    November 4, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  24. We Are All Real Americans

    These are the kind of basic human errors that can happen in any election – if wet ballots and hard to locate grandsons are the worst things that happen today, we will be lucky. I already cast my PA ballot, everybody else out there if you haven't voted already make sure you get to the polls!

    November 4, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  25. Frustrated Educated Man

    This dosen't make any bit of sense!!! It is 9.am the polls have been opened for three-four hours and we have all these problems. The funny thing is in NC, VA and NJ, the areas with problems are in predominatly African American communities. I just thougt we were better than that.

    I mean four years ago these polling stations board of elections knew what was needed to correct the problems from previous elections, but today...........................the forgot to take the ballots out of her grandson's truck!!! NONSENSE!!!

    November 4, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
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