By CRISTINA JANNEY
PLAINVILLE — Three people received the wrong ballots in Plainville on Tuesday during the general election.
Rooks County Clerk and elections official Ruthmary Muir said Wednesday the new encoders for the voting machines malfunctioned on Tuesday. She said they had worked during testing and for advance voting, but could not be used during voting on Election Day anywhere in the county.
This meant poll workers at all polling locations had to use hand encoders to manually enter the voters’ precincts in order to bring up the appropriate ballots. Muir said she received three complaints of people in Plainville receiving incorrect ballots.
Two of those incidents were caught at the poll, and the voters were given the correct ballots. The third incident was not immediately detected. Muir said the poll judge contacted the third person and told that voter they could come back in and vote provisionally, but Muir said she was uncertain if that voter returned to revote.
“I don’t blame the (poll) judges for getting it wrong, and you know the voter needs to know and let them know, ‘Aren’t I supposed to get a city ballot or aren’t I supposed to get this ballot,” and they can fix it right there at the time,” Muir said.
Muir said the county had difficulty with encoders during its last election and that is why it decided to go with the new automatic encoders.
Muir said she and her staff are still trying to figure out what went wrong with the equipment. She said she will be in contact with the equipment vendor to diagnose the malfunction.
“I think everyone handled the situation well,” she said. “I wish I knew what the problem was, but we will find out.”