Election Day Difficulties Reviewed
In the aftermath of last Tuesday’s momentous election, Tompkins County officials are assessing the fluidity of voting procedures.
According to Tompkins County Board of Elections Republican Commissioner Elizabeth Cree, most of the election procedures ran smoothly. Cree noted: "It was clear that people were well-trained and we had great poll-site managers . . . Some of these people put in 17-hour days and really helped with the new system."
However, concern arose on the issues of privacy and proposition placement. At some polling sites, voters were troubled by cramped conditions. To many, a lack of space seemed like a lack of privacy. Though poll managers are instructed to keep their distance from the machines, when some approached the machines to offer their assistance, confidentiality felt compromised.
This complaint was not voiced at every voting venue. Nevertheless, Tompkins County will ensure that more training is provided in the future, and that particularly cramped polls will be moved to larger sites.
In addition to privacy issues, Democrat Commissioner Stephen Dweitt noted that the placement of propositions on the back of ballots resulted in some people not seeing them. To avoid accusations of electioneering, election officials are taught not to discuss the ballot. But because of this, many voters were kept unaware of the proposition. Solutions to this problem are still being deliberated.
About 60% of voters have used the new machines in place at voting sites. Officials hope that as experience with the new machines increases, these difficulties will cease to exist.