Some Illinois Ballots Too Big For Their Scanners

Mar 20, 2012 5:20pm

Election officials in Illinois are discovering that size does matter.

In 26 jurisdictions across the state, the ballots are too big to fit into the scanners, sources at the Illinois State Board of Elections tell ABC News today.

The sizing problem means the affected polling places have had to scramble to find a way to count the ballots in tonight’s Republican primary.

Elections officials describe the scope of the problem as “sporadic,” and includes several districts in DuPage County,  the third most populous county in the state. Across some precincts the issue is widespread, while in other precincts it’s only hitting a handful of ballots. There are even instances of properly sized ballots and improperly sized ballots popping up in the same polling place.

The cause behind the improper sizing is still unknown, but elections officials have traced the affected ballots to two specific vendors.

The problem appears to be under control, or at least well on its way. Counties ordered ballots to be re-printed, and in the interim time period while waiting for the new ballots, all but one of the 26 affected jurisdictions had electronic touch screens which voters were redirected to use.

In some polling places, already cast ballots are being re-made by hand, with representatives from both parties supervising to make sure that the re-making follows proper procedure.

One poll worker had her own creative way of solving the problem: she used her hairdryer. After blowing out some of the affected ballots, this poll worker was able to fit the ballots through the scanner successfully, a source told ABC News.

Election officials confirm to ABC News that this will likely slow down the rate at which results are tabulated later this evening.

 

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