New voting machines pose Election Day problems

Voters at several South Mississippi precincts reported problems with the new touch-screen machines as voting got under way in midterm elections this morning.

At Gulfport Little Theater and Biloxi Community Center, for example, voters were handed paper ballots because workers were unable to make to the machines work.

And at Margaret Sherry Library on Popps Ferry Road, three of seven touch-screen machines were working while at D'Iberville Community Center, just four of 13 were working.

Votes cast with the paper ballots will be counted, assured David Blount, communications director with Secretary of State Eric Clark’s office in Jackson.

“Our recommendation to each county was that they have on hand, at each precinct, enough paper ballots for 25 percent of the expected voters for that precinct,” he said. These are new machines, he said, and the paper ballots were recommended as backup in case of any problems.

Poll workers were instructed earlier to have the paper ballots on hand and to call county officials immediately if any problems arose, Blount said, so that repairs or corrections could be made.

The Sun Herald will continue to report on this story throughout the day.