Power outages at polling places cause some delays for voters

The polling location at Northwest Chapel on Rings Road was without power at the start of voting, 6:30 a.m. November 6, 2018. (WSYX/WTTE)

Power outages plagued two Franklin County polling places on Tuesday.

The first in Dublin as the polling location at Northwest Chapel on Rings Road got ready to open for the day. It was without power for several hours. Some voters said they were frustrated by the delays. One voter said he had to leave because of the longer-than-usual line. The Board of Elections said paper ballots were used for about 45 minutes until they could bring in a generator. The power was restored by 10:45 a.m.

In Groveport at Eastland Career Center, a polling place lost electricity around 12:30 p.m. David Payne, Board of Elections Deputy Director said because the voting machines were already plugged in, battery back-up kicked on when the power went out. American Electric Power said it was the wind that was causing the headaches.

Payne said the batteries work as well as electric.

“The batteries, we tested those , we charge all 4,000 of our voting machine batteries as of yesterday. So we knew they were all good and ready to go but those last for about three hours so we wanted to get a generator out here at Eastland Career Center to make sure we can go until 7:30 and beyond.”

“We do have paper ballots if somebody wants a paper ballot by choice they can do that as well. But we have 19 voting machines here that are ready to go,” said Payne.

Roberta Smith, 76 said she wasn’t going to let the outage stop her from voting. Smith said some people left the polling place when they saw there was no power, so she hopes they come back to cast their ballots.

Payne said they couldn’t use the battery back-up in Dublin because the outage occurred before the machines were turned on.

The Board of Elections employs a bi-partisan team to make sure everything is working smoothly and accurately at each precinct. Payne said despite the outages all votes will counted.

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