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Technical issues emerge at Duval polling places

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On Tuesday morning, the 199 polling places in Duval County have given a new meaning to the term “stacking paper.” With electronic poll books down down, all of them are using paper precinct registers.

First Coast News reports that the “elections office says it’s working to fix the issues but has no estimated time for a potential resolution.”

Meredith Beatrice of the Florida Department of State offered the following reassurance:

“The Department of State has spoken with the Duval County Supervisor of Elections office. There are no issues with voting equipment and voters are still able to vote. Duval County did confirm an issue this morning with electronic poll books and had to switch over to paper precinct registers, which is a standard backup method.”

“Please be aware that all Florida counties vote by paper ballot except with an additional option for persons with disabilities to vote by touchscreen,” Beatrice added.

For longtime poll watchers in Duval County, this technical glitch may bring back memories of 2000, when 27,000 ballots were counted invalid.

More recently, in 2014, there was one minor issue with a memory stick that required reloading the ballots.

The June budget review for the Supervisor of Elections office had no such discussions of computers. The worries then were extra security and an $500 a month automobile allowance for new SOE Mike Hogan.

Hogan, who brought in political allies like former GOP pollster John Libby and current State House candidate Dick Kravitz to replace people like the former Deputy SOE, Tracie Davis, is dealing with the first logistical issue of his tenure.

Of course, it is also his first election.

One wonders if issues with registration and voter access will crop up later today in Duval County, especially as day shift workers vote after work.

A.G. Gancarski has written a weekly column for Jacksonville’s Folio Weekly since 2003. His writings on politics, culture, and sport have appeared in the Washington Times, the Daily Caller, and the American Conservative. His radio and TV appearances include frequent contributions to WJCT-FM (Jacksonville’s Public Radio station); additionally, he has been a guest on Huff Post Live and the Savage Nation radio show. Gancarski can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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