FOX 4 INVESTIGATES | Voting machine problems at Early Voting locations in Lee County

Posted at 10:39 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 11:46:15-04

Early voting in Lee County already having to endure problems with ballots being rejected by machines just a few years after voting problems made national headlines in 2012.

"I had one machine that did kind of hiccup then I moved to another," said Doreen VanBuskirk, who stopped by the polling center off Cleveland Avenue.

Lee County Supervisor of Elections, Sharon Harrington admits she's heard from other frustrated early voters.

"I had a lady that called me the other day and said that she and her husband both had issues," said Harrington.

The issue at the polls? A page margin goof.

"We found out that the paper, the blank papers that they used to print the ballots they came from our vendor was about an eight of an inch too wide," said Harrington.

An eighth of an inch, about the size of a cheese slice, forced some machines to reject votes.  Harrington's solution at first was to have staff cut the ballots so they fit.

"We've trimmed what we could and sent that back out to early voting sites," said the supervisor.

She added the longer term solution won't be available from the vendor at least four days after the start of early voting.

"They are shipping more paper, we've got 20 thousand pieces hopefully [Wednesday] morning," said Harrington.

Past election problems still are on Harrington's mind.

"Ever since 2012, when we had such long lines for that general election, we have been working diligently to make sure we don't have a repeat of that again," she said.

In 2012, Harrington's office was criticized for not being prepared. There were broken  machines and as you heard very long waits for some  voters. She later admitted her office ran out of space to safety store ballots after voters cast them.