Primary voting precincts in Duval County, Florida, went offline Tuesday morning when, shortly after they opened, the Jacksonville-area polling locations were faced with technical difficulties. The computer problems affected voting across all 199 precincts in the county, resulting in delays at some locations.
Computer problems were first reported around 7 a.m. EDT after a software error prevented voters from checking in to vote, according to news station WSOC. The Northern Florida county’s Evid electronic machines were set to be used to sign in to vote, but paperwork is a “standard backup method,” the office of Duval County's supervisor of elections said in a statement.
Poll workers are having to manually go through lists of registered voters at Duval polling sites. That's why check-in is taking so long.
— Lisa Robbins (@LisaRobbinsFCN) March 15, 2016
“The Department of State has spoken with the Duval County supervisor of elections' office,” a spokesperson for the office told the Florida Times-Union. “There are no issues with voting equipment, and voters are still able to vote. Duval County did confirm an issue this morning with electronic poll books and had to switch over to paper precinct registers.”
The software glitch did not affect the ballots. When the technological problems forced precincts to turn to paper registers, delays ensued since poll volunteers were required to sift through lists of registered voters at all of the county precincts.
“Please be aware that all Florida counties vote by paper ballot except with an additional option for persons with disabilities to vote by touch screen,” Meredith Beatrice, director of communications at the Florida Department of State, told blog Florida Politics.
Today's problems in Duval is why we should always have a paper ballot as verification.
— Jon McGowan (@JonMcGowanFL) March 15, 2016
State officials told First Coast News that 26 technicians were sent to resolve the computer issues at all of the county polling locations.
The technological difficulties evoked memories of Florida’s ballot problems in the 2000 national election when 27,000 ballots were deemed invalid. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled for a state recount.