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UPDATE: Software woes mean long waits for some Indiana voters

May 3, 2016

An election official in Hancock County said software problems that created long waits at some polling places led some people to leave without ever voting in Tuesday's primary.

Hancock County's Clerk of the Courts, Marcia Moore, said the software vendor for the county just east of Indianapolis "really let us down" Tuesday morning with computer glitches.

Moore said as long lines formed at some of the largely rural county's 12 voting centers some people left "because they were frustrated that the line was slow." No voters were turned away from polling places, but Moore said some left because they worried about being late for work.

She said one of the software problems affected computer servers, while another caused some election ballots to exclude county commissioner's races.

Meanwhile, strong voter turnout in a heavily Republican suburban Indianapolis county created some long waits for voters casting ballots in Tuesday's Indiana primary.

Hamilton County Elections Administrator Kathy Richardson said some voters faced hour-long waits at polling stations in the cities of Fishers and Carmel, while others got "in and out" quickly.

Richardson said the county just north of Indianapolis also had nearly 12,000 primary voters cast absentee ballots. That's nearly three times the number who voted that way in 2012.

She expects the county's total primary voter turnout will be close to what it was in the 2008 primary, when nearly half the county's registered voters cast ballots.

Elsewhere, the elections director for northwest Indiana's heavily populated Lake County said voter turnout there could reach 55 percent for Tuesday's primary.

Michelle Fajman, director of the county's Board of Elections and Voter Registration, said Lake County voters appear on pace to beat the turnout seen during Indiana's 2008 primary. That year's primary featured the tight race between Barack Obama and Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Fajman said just over 50 percent of the county's registered voters cast ballots in 2008's primary and Tuesday's turnout could reach 55 percent.

She said nearly 45,000 Lake County voters had cast ballots by late Tuesday morning, either at polling stations or by absentee ballot.

Fajman said the pace of voting Tuesday in the county's 525 precincts "has been steady all day long."

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