December 13, 2006 Edition

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Justices receive election
update from Turnbull

Amber Adams
Staff Writer

During their regular meeting Monday night, the Quorum Court heard from a member of the Lawrence County Election Commission on possible solutions to problems with the recent election.

Lee Turnbull, election commissioner, went over the major problems encountered during the November election and corrections the commission is working on before the next election.

Turnbull said the two main problems were a shortage of PEBs, personalized election ballots, and poll workers not being well trained.

"We did not train the poll workers properly on the front end," he said, adding that the commissioners were not certified to do the training and were not as qualified on the machines as they should have been.

Turnbull said the commission ordered four extra PEBs, which came late and were not tested, that had the wrong election code.

He assured justices that this would not be an issue in subsequent elections, saying that the commission will be more involved in setting up elections and making sure everything is right as it is received.

Turnbull said the lack of paper ballots seemed to be a major concern for some voters. He said there were paper ballots at each place for 20 percent of the usual voter turnout at that specific polling site.

These paper ballots were only to be used for provisional voting and for voters who refused to use the electronic voting machines.

Justice Jim Jones of Imboden said the use of only two voting machines caused a wait time of 45 minutes at Imboden.

He said several people left without voting, which could have been avoided by offering paper ballots.

"We would like the option of paper ballots," Jones said. He said elections should be made more convenient to entice more people to vote.

Turnbull said having more paper ballots is definitely not a problem. He also commended the poll workers saying, "The poll workers did an excellent job with the training we gave them. We didn't do our part."

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