Columbus Voters Face Early Election Day Delays

May 7, 2019

Voters at the Whetstone Recreation Center were waiting in line for nearly an hour Tuesday morning while poll workers wrangled with new voting machines.

Franklin County Board of Elections officials say voting at the Clintonville polling place was delayed by trouble updating the last bits of early voting information. Spokesman Aaron Sellers says the machines needed the update to ensure voters didn’t cast two ballots.

"When we send out the poll pads, we download the most current information," Sellers explains. "However, there are a few days of early voting that happens between when the poll pads go out and when voting ended here at the board."

Election Day marks the first time Franklin County is using new voting machines, which were funded by state legislation. The machines are a sort of hybrid between touchscreen and paper ballots, which Secretary of State Frank LaRose says are more secure than previous types.

Patrick Higgins, a local attorney, was in line a little after 7 a.m.

“You know, I checked in just fine, gave my ID, verified my address, and when it came time to printing whatever receipt was needed to check in at the actual voting machine, those printers were not working," Higgins says.

Higgins got to vote, but says it took about almost an hour. He saw five or so people leave in that time, but some said they’d try again later.

Elections officials say voting is now proceeding normally at the recreation center.