PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It was a rocky start on Election Day in Philadelphia, where new touchscreen voting machines were rolled out. A judge of elections says one of the new voting machines was not taking paper ballots that needed to be inserted in them. The polling place where the issue took place was at Fire Company Engine 13 on the 1500 block of Parrish Street in the Fairmount section of the city.
At the Dorothy Emanuel polling place in Mount Airy, a voter discovered the incorrect names of candidates listed for District 9 and alerted a worker. The machine was immediately shut down until the correct district and candidates’ names were loaded into the voting machine. The problem was reported to the Elections Commission.
About 24 people were waiting in line for it to be fixed and an unknown number of people voted.
At another Mt. Airy polling place, the electricity went out for about 30 minutes.
At the Watermark in Logan Square, a poll worker said one of the machines wouldn’t accept paper ballots that needed to be inserted for the person to vote. It had to be restarted.
At Germantown Mennonite Church in Germantown, ballot paper for the machines arrived about a half-hour late.
“So the judge went in and confirmed it and so, at that point, the judge shut that machine down,” committee person Victoria Taylor said.
One of the candidates whose name was not on the ballot that should have been was incumbent Councilmember Cherelle Parker.
“As a candidate who’s worked very hard to earn the support of the voters of the 9th District, I was not happy at all,” Parker said. “About 25 to 30 people, it was reported for me, voted but they cast their votes for Jamie G., who is in the Third Council District ballot instead of Cherelle Parker.”
A spokesperson for Philadelphia’s Election Board confirmed to Eyewitness News they corrected the issue. It’s not clear how the snafu happened.
City Commissioner Al Schmidt says his office has received zero complaints regarding machines not accepting paper ballots.
However, poll workers say the new touchscreens there have been running fine at 13th and Pine Streets in Center City.
The new voting machines were mandated by Gov. Tom Wolf.
Many voters, though, say they’ve been easy to use and glad they’ve been updated.
“Machine tells you everything to do. If you can use a touchscreen at a Wawa, it’s no problem,” Donald Holey said.
“I like them very much, I think they’re simple to read. There’s a lot to take in but I thought it was user-friendly,” added Peg Minehart.
Poll workers say turnout has been low.