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Ballot Scanners Jamming In Sarasota From Eager Voters

Supervisor of Elections says voters inserting ballots too quickly into optical scanner causing jams.

It appears that folks are a little too excited to cast their ballot in Sarasota County.

Supervisor of Elections staff are having to switch out ballot boxes and scanners due to the machines jamming when voters insert their ballots, Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent tells Patch.

It's an easy explanation—a combination of this election being the first two-page ballot for Sarasota County using the optical scanners and over-eager voters, Dent said.

"Voters are too anxious to put both of them in, and they're putting them in too quickly," Dent said.

Dent said poll workers are on top of the situation and has it under control, advising voters to place the first page in, wait for the page to drop, and then insert the second page.

Thanks to the large turnout, the ballot boxes carrying the ballots had to be swapped out, too, as some scanners were malfunctioning because they weren't sitting on the box properly, Dent said.

Changes in precincts appears to only be an issue at one location—Concordia Lutheran Church on Wood Street where voters were showing up to cast ballots and had to be directed to St. Paul Lutheran Church or another precinct, Dent said. The Supervisor of Elections had signs informing people at Concordia about the new precinct before voting started, Dent added, but staff arrived to help point voters to the right spot.

"I was there for an hour and a half directing them along," Dent said.

A Supervisor of Elections worker was at the church earlier today with a laptop to help verify voters' new precincts if they arrived at Concordia, Dent said.

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