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Voting concerns in Cuyahoga, Summit over scanners
But overall, reports say smooth 
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE CORRESPONDENT JO INGLES
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter
Jo Ingles
 
Despite glitches in Cuyahoga and Summit counties.
Courtesy of Robert Sustersic
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In The Region:

Ohioans are still going to the polls at this hour. And gGroups monitoring the election in Ohio today say there have not been major problems, but have been some glitches in Northeast Ohio. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.

Ingles on voting glitches

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The Ohio League of Women Voter’s Carrie Davis says voting has been pretty smooth today.  The League runs a service that monitors voting problems throughout the state.  She says there have been a couple of problems with equipment.

Davis – We’ve had numerous reports from Summit County, the Akron area in particular.  Problems involve optical ballot scanners – the things you put the ballots into malfunctioning.  That same concern has been raised in Cuyahoga County.  They are getting replacement scanners in place in Cleveland and in Summit County we are trying to address those concerns as well. We are also getting a lot of reports of long lines in Summit County as well as confusion of where to vote.  One of the issues is that Summit county, the Akron area, has engaged in precinct consolidations and polling place consolidations.  So even if someone has lived in the same house for the last 40 years, this year, their polling place may have changed.

Gena Shelton with the group Ohio Voice says students at the Ohio State University are also standing in long lines to vote.  And they are also confused because there are four different polling places for students this year. She says volunteers are now on the scene at polls to double check to make sure students are in the right place and that’s helping. 
Shelton – It’s still not perfect but we are working on it but I think we have the problems there under control and I’m pleased to say because of the relationship we have in place and the work we put ahead of time, we are going to make this happen pretty fast.

Polls are open until 730 and anyone in line at that time should be allowed to cast ballots.  But if someone is in line and must leave, there is no reason to give up the right to vote.  Petee Tally with the Ohio Unity Coalition says voters can always ask a poll worker to vote on a paper ballot.

Tally – It is an option to ask for a ballot and in fact, in Cuyahoga County’s assistance plan, it did indicate how many clipboards would be available for individuals should they want to step out of line because of time restraints and to vote paper ballots.

Perhaps the major concern right now is what happens if the vote in Ohio is so close that provisional ballots make a difference.  Brian Rothenberg with Progress Ohio says anyone who votes provisionally should check on their ballot in the next week to provide all of the information that is needed to make it count.  He says every vote in Ohio counts right now and if it’s close, recounts and provisional ballots could slow down the process of determining the winner in Ohio until December.

Rothenberg – This could kick in to overtime and lawyers could be playing through this for a long time.

Ohioans who received a paper ballot and haven’t yet voted it are urged to fill it out and take it to their local board of elections by 730 when the polls close.

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