Commissioners review Election Day mishaps, troubleshoot ahead of 2020 presidential race


CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Voting was slowed across parts of the Capital Region on Tuesday. Everything from a minor paper jam that shut down a voting booth in Washington County, to a more major glitch in Warren County’s brand new electronic reporting system.

“A voter tries to insert their ballot and sometimes they get that folder too close to the scanner, and the scanner tries to grab the folder and that’ll cause the machine to jam,” explains Jeff Curtis, Washington County’s Democratic Commissioner.

Luckily, the paper jam was a quick fix.

“They had two voting machines in Argyle where this happened, so they were able to use the other one, and we got the downed machine out of there and replaced it. It didn’t effect the process at all,” says Republican Commissioner Leslie Allen.

Unfortunately, Warren County’s glitch in one local race took a bit longer to sort out.

“It was for a town assessor. It was a vote for two, but there was only one candidate. But we still had to set up the ballot to accept two because you can write in two people,” Warren County Democratic Commissioner Beth McLaughlin explained to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton. “We took that information and put it into the reporting system. It was telling us we were missing a candidate.”

However, the Warren County Commissioners say this election served it’s purpose — finding issues to be fixed before the major turnouts they expect next year.

“Our whole thought process when it first started was to make sure these are implemented and in place getting ready for a presidential primary in April, a general primary in June, and a general election in November,” says Warren County Republican Commissioner William VanNess. “We want our inspectors to be comfortable with the new system and be able to answer questions.”

Saratoga County Commissioner Rodger Schiera also confirms his office is still trying to find out what caused a similar reporting issue. It delayed results hours until workers eventually resorted to input them by hand. He says they’re at a loss, given they’ve used the same system for years.

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