Voters experience ‘issues’ at several Hillsborough Co. precincts

Photo: WFLA
Photo: WFLA

Tampa, Fla (WFLA) – A number of voters in Hillsborough County contacted 8 on your side to report issues at the polls. Most involved problems with scanners not able to scan ballots.

Edna Jones had that issue at her precinct at Bell Shoals Baptist Church on Palm River Road in Tampa. Jones said the process was going smoothly until she went to have her ballot scanned. The machine spits it out and an election worker then took the ballot and put it in a locked box. Ballots in that box are to be scanned separately after the polls close.

“I want to make sure that those ballots that are in that box, which there is a number of them and who knows how many after I left.  How many of them are actually going to be scanned?”  Jones wondered from her Palm River home. “Will they be scanned if it wouldn’t scan when we were there?  What are they going to do with these ballots.”

An election worker told Jones she could return to the precinct after 7pm and watch those ballots being scanned for herself.  She did and is now expressing relief.

“I feel confident now that I’ve seen the error of what’s taken place. Cause I actually watched them try to put it through,” said Jones, who was also impressed by the Supervisor of Elections Office quick response.

“They did send someone down here to check the scanner out.  Because the scanner hadn’t been working right.”

Deanna and Darrell Horne had a similar experience voting at the East Thonotosassa Baptist Church on McIntosh Road. They too experienced scanner issues and were told to come back after the polls closed.

“I can’t trust people like this. Again, they may be honest people but how do you know?” questioned Darrell Horne. “I just want to see my vote go through the machine,” said Deanna Horne.

Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer wants to assure voters, his staff trains for events like this. “You know machines are not going to work from time to time,” said Latimer.

“I don’t know too many people that have a computer and they turned it on one day and the screen was blue or the screen was black.  Things happen.  But we also have contingencies in place to be able to continue voting.”

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