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

Forgotten, wet ballots slow down voting in North Carolina

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption=" 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. Brian

    As an African American man I must say that I believe this will be the single greatest day in American History. I also strongly feel that it will go a long way in severing the racial divide in this country.

    November 4, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. J

    The US is no longer the world's greatest democracy. Its voting process is in crisis and a laughing stock around th world!

    November 4, 2008 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  3. FRANK



    November 4, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  4. Mac Texas

    In this great Country of ours, it would seem reasonable to expect voter machines to work or an alternate means of voting. Everyone knew months ago that this would be a record year so no excuses there. I
    do believe that we should all ask our congressmen for some kind of legislation to prevent these things from happening.

    November 4, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  5. James

    I think everyone that had a hand in setting these things up should be looking for a job doing something else, Yes i mean fired on the spot, this is so critical.

    November 4, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  6. Heleva

    This is the reason why we wanted everyone to vote early. I hope we don't get the election stolen again like we did in 2000 and 2004. I'm staying prayerful.



    November 4, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  7. Larry


    November 4, 2008 09:13 am at 9:13 am |
  8. Paul from NYC

    Is any of this happening in 'non-battleground' states?

    November 4, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  9. Alison

    Pray that those soggy ballots don't disappear!

    November 4, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  10. Sarah P

    Very suspious that these things are happening in Red States that are on the verge of turning blue, hmmmm! Florida!?

    November 4, 2008 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  11. lee

    we can hold our heads up...we as americans have come a long way

    November 4, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  12. Yomi, Frisco Texas

    Wao! how could the chief Judge forget? quite shady.

    November 4, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  13. Very concern

    I am praing for Senator Obama to win. We need him for America and the world, especially in this troubling time.

    November 4, 2008 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  14. Val in Atlanta

    Let's all write to our Congress members to have Election Day declared a national holiday in the future. We need to eliminate every obstacle to voting that we can. People should not have to take a day off work and possibly lose pay because they want to vote. Here in Atlanta, there is no public school on election day so parents have to take their kids to the polling place or try to find a sitter. Spread the word and let's start a movement to have a National Holiday on the first Tuesday in November every four years!

    November 4, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  15. This Canadian Loves Obama

    How does this happen in 2008?!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  16. SHELLI1313

    Because of the fixed ballot machines they should keep the polls opened 4 more hours to allow all of the citizens to vote. This is OUR TIME (USA) This is OUR MOMENT. GOD IS WITH THE USA AND WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS. OBAMA WINS!!!!!

    November 4, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  17. katrina strickland

    I voted in winston salem northcarolina this morning and there were no long lines at 7:30 am, I was voter 206 although no major problems
    there were a couple of times the machine would not read this maybe a problem as the day progress.

    November 4, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  18. Mel B. in Columbia SC

    Haven't we seen this somewhere before?

    You would think by now tha after the last 2 elections we would have invested some money in to voting machines. Why can't we have one voting system through out the country that works all the same...we have one IRS and Equifax and it seems to work.

    How can America want the rest of the world to have voting rights and we can't even get it right in our own country???

    November 4, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  19. bruce

    funny all the reported issues are in tight "swing" states..makes you question what is going on.

    November 4, 2008 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  20. Nebraska DEM

    Can we get electronic voting system? This shouldn be his difficult.

    November 4, 2008 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  21. shan

    what? ballots left in a truck that drove away? soggy ballots and a malfunctioning scanner?

    seriously? someone's having a bad day.

    reads like a really bad SNL skit or a really good MadTV...

    November 4, 2008 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  22. no more hanging chads

    I live in NC and had no trouble voting this morning. Probably took about half an hour. Yes, it's been raining all night! But it's a 'soft rain' and relatively warm. NOT an excuse!

    Obama '08

    November 4, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  23. ictoan

    Why are problems only happening in Swing states?! Disgusting!

    November 4, 2008 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  24. Rob R

    This is the first election in which I got to vote in NC after living in CA and NJ previously. I voted early 2 weeks ago – and even though the lines were long, I thought they did a great job.

    I am confident that NC will ensure that any problems are handled quickly.

    November 4, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  25. Kofi Osei

    I'm voting in Bowie,MD. got here at 6:30 still in line at 9:20. looks like another 1.5 hrs

    November 4, 2008 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
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