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iPad Mini Troubles Slow Down Palm Beach Voting

Voter turnout for primaries is traditionally low to begin with. But now there are a couple of reports of some polling places in Palm Beach County having issues with the iPad Minis being used by workers in an attempt to high-tech the voting process.

Poll workers are using the iPad Minis to scan voter IDs, but according Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher, some voters have experienced problems with the pads as they walked into their respective polling places.

Bucher said Tuesday morning that her West Palm Beach office received several calls complaining that the iPad Minis failed to find their information.

Bucher says workers were properly trained to use the iPads, telling WPTV.com that the problems might be associated with a learning curve and that all information had been loaded into the new database.

But according to the Palm Beach Post, at least one couple was told the system said they failed to update the office about their new address, even though they hadn't actually moved:

Virginia Gough and her husband Robert tried to vote at Christ Fellowship on Northlake Boulevard early Tuesday morning. She said she was told she'd failed to update the voting office on her new address, even though the couple's lived at the same place for years. She waited while a supervisor called the elections office.

The report says that about a half a dozen others were held up with similar issues.

Voters who got caught up in the glitch were given provisional ballots to fill out so they could vote.

Apparently Rep. Patrick Murphy was at this particular polling place and got a scolding over the slowdown from Gough.

Murphy has nothing to do with the iPad Minis.

Palm Beach County ran into similar slowdown issues in October of 2012 when 60,000 absentee ballots got screwed up by a printing error but were mailed out to voters anyway. Some absentee voters complained that they hadn't received any ballots at all.

And then there's, of course, the "hanging chad" fiasco of the presidential race of 2000.

Of course, iPad Minis being slow is nowhere near that kind of glitch. The problem is easily fixed with a provisional ballot. And all indications are that it's a very minor issue.

Either way, it can be a source of frustration during a time when voter turnout is low to begin with.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph

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