Election Workers Deal with Machine Malfunctions

November 6, 2012 Updated Nov 6, 2012 at 8:48 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By Rachel Elzufon

...
November 6, 2012 Updated Nov 6, 2012 at 8:48 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Voter turnout is always higher in a Presidential Election -- and that is creating problems at some polling places here in Western New York.

The Board of Elections expects a 75 to 80 percent turnout in Erie County.

Voters tell Eyewitness News they have seen tempers running short, while poll workers are hard at work fixing the problems.

Joseph Trimpler, an Election Inspector, says "This is the biggest crowd we've ever had -- right now -- and we're only half way through."

In the middle of Tuesday afternoon, polling sites in Western New York were busy.

Perhaps the busiest people were working to fix paper jams in some machines. They say that is causing the biggest headaches at the polls today.

Oscar Hernandez said "There's hardly any patience from the voters coming in. The inspectors are trying to do the best they can but the voters are just wanting to get it done and out of the way."

Still, election inspectors tell Eyewitness News that it's an easy fix. Trimpler explains "We have a few jam-ups in the machines once in awhile, but we can take care of that ourselves or we call a guy and he fixes it up."

While machines are out, poll workers place ballots in an emergency bin, that are counted either during slow periods or at the end of the night.

Another big voting day problem -- a reported gas leak at a polling site in South Buffalo. Workers had to turn away voters before the building was deemed safe.

Some voters tell Eyewitness News they received multiple cards telling them different places to go and vote.

Sandra Jardine said "I went online right before I got picked up and they said Lafayette and I said what is going on?"

However, most voters say this is the easiest it's ever been.

Christy Ruest said "it took three minutes -- that's all."

Voters say no matter what the problem, they want to make sure there voices are heard.

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