Tuesday, May 08, 2007

It's Election Day, But Polls Aren't Open In Marion County

Today is supposed to be the primary election in Marion County for the municipal election, but there are reports of voters showing up at polls this morning and finding their polling places shut down because precinct workers failed to show. WXNT's Abdul Hakim-Shabazz has fielded numerous phone calls during his morning talk show "Abdul in the Morning", including one from Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter who said he was unable to vote this morning because his Washington Township polling place was not up and running this morning. Carter, who was on his way to Fort Wayne, hopes he can return to Indianapolis later today to cast his vote.

This is the first election for Democratic Clerk Beth White. She and Democrats had been highly critical of the former Republican clerk in Marion County, Doris Ann Sadler, and promised to do a better job running elections. The early signs this morning are very troubling. My polling place has been moved for the first time since I've been voting in Marion County from the location I've been accustomed to voting near my home. The new polling place is many blocks away. The regular voting place in the senior center is under construction. Let's see how things go for me when I vote in a little while.

UPDATE: I just voted in my downtown precinct. I was the 5th voter at 7:30 a.m. A poll worker told me an e-mail sent on Monday indicated that nearly half of the inpectors had not picked up election materials for today's election, indicating the clerk's office had advance warning there may be a problem with poll workers showing up today.

The Star is now reporting that at least 20 polling places in Marion County had not opened two hours after the 6:00 a.m. opening time because poll workers didn't show.

Marion County Clerk Beth White is taking responsibility for today's fiasco. "I take responsibility for what happened. If anybody wants to call me incompetent, that's their business," the Star quoted White as saying at a news conference outside a polling place at the Lugar Towers Downtown. Some polls had yet to open up at mid-day. White conceded she had no contingency plan, and she is not ruling out the possibility of a do-over, or at least extending voting hours today.


Anonymous said...

I voted over at Pike 12. No problem getting. There was a guy outside passing out literature who stated that he got paid $1 per flyer he passed out. Taht seemed odd to me.

I got in showed my ID - No problem. I got my ballot and voted.

I went to SCAN my ballot in and the person there said I had to put my ballot in the manual slot. The electronic card either was not there ( From what I saw on the display on them achine ) or was not working.

People were complaining lasttime about not having a paper audit from the new voting machines. At least last year I voted and my balot was scanned in I was pretty safe in assuming my vote had been counted because I saw it get scanned and the vote count number had been bumped up one.

How does a voting machine of un counted ballots get counted if they do not get the correct electronic card put into the machine. Do they count all of hte ballots after 6 pm at the polling site ? Do they go some where else to be counted ?

Gary R. Welsh said...

I'm not sure whether the machine gets fixed during the day and scanned in by election workers, or whether it gets scanned later at the voting center after polls closed. But you clearly should be able to scan your own ballot if things are properly set up in advance.

Anonymous said...

Wilson?? Wilson?? Why aren't you the first one commenting on this post like you are so many others??



Unknown said...

Why is it not possible to have a smoothly run election in this city? Why do so many people commit to being poll inspectors and then blow off their duties? Are there that few reliable volunteers?

Anonymous said...

Nice job democrats!

Anonymous said...

Yeah...where IS Wilson to remind us that the MAJORITY voted for the democrats.

This is why democracies always fail, folks. Power to decide how things are run should not be in the hands of the dumbed down breeding masses.

Anonymous said...

It's the people's business to call Beth White incompetent because (as today is factual proof) she is.

Anonymous said...

Wilson's working the polls, folks. I'm pretty sure that he, at least, showed up.

Anonymous said...

I took an elderly Aunt to vote today. Democrats and non-partisan poll workers manned her poll. Can you say democrats in disguise? Another rigged election.
I’m still hoping to vote that is if I can get off work early. My polling place was closed at 9AM when I tried this morning. I think I’ll try absentee in Nov. more than likely they will lose my ballot. Great job Beth.

Michael Jezierski said...


I've been to several polling sites in the North (Lawrence Twp and Geist areas) and to their credit many opened on time, though one was all GOP poll workers except one Democrat person.

Geist Christian Church did not open as of 8 AM and as of now I'm not sure if it ever opened. I'll mosey over there and find out.

Voter turnout - VERY light. A friendly PC told me on the far eastside in CC dist 17 as of 2:30 PM only 4 ballots were cast TOTAL in one precinct, and 14 TOTAL in another within one building.

Keys for the scanners were mixed up and a ward chair informed me he's not sure but he thinks the machines might be misprogrammed again for time for DST. Problem is they won't know if that is the case until 6 PM when they try to close the machines. The ones that are even open that is.

Keep us informed Gary.

Anonymous said...

Chan 8 was on the ball on a report done Monday.

Voting Problems Now Democrats Concern

May 7, 2007 04:48 PM EDT

As absentee voting wrapped up Monday morning the new Marion County Clerk, Democrat Beth White, predicted a smooth election.

"I feel like the inspectors are better prepared than they have ever been," she said.

A year ago problems with the programming of some voting machines led to uncounted ballots and concerns about some election results.

Ballot boxes are already on location at 917 precincts. But there are still questions about whether enough poll workers will show up.

"Beth White has set the standard for her job at perfection and I think the Democratic party for years has set the standard at perfection," Walker said.

And while Republicans may seek political advantage, White's reputation is on the line.

"I'm feeling cautiously optimistic that we'll have a pretty trouble free day tomorrow," she said.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Thanks, Michael, I will do my best.

Michael Jezierski said...


Geist Christian Church opened at 10 AM. I received reports that some precincts as you are reporting, did not open at all or opened very late.

I am really questioning whether we will even receive anything close to accurate results or what they will do for those voters whose polls did not open. I for one do not wish to have a do-over whether I place in the top 4 or not. I'm already done and over with this primary and awaiting results to plan ahead for November.

Turnout was light enough as it were, no need to keep polling places shut just to make matters worse.

Wilson46201 said...

For the record: I was Inspector at 2-1 -- no problems whatsoever. School 101 has WiFi access but has filters that prevented blog access. I did have my laptop with me so I could read newspapers online but blogs were blocked at IPS !

I didnt get home until past 7pm -- I'd left at 4:45am.