Detroit voters complain of broken ballot boxes

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Although some problems at the polls are expected, local voters say it goes beyond a technical glitch -- it also undermines voter confidence.

Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey says problems like this are typical in the beginning of the day, and they are usually ironed out by the middle of the day.

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Linda Thurmond has waited a long time for this day, showing up to her polling place at Dixon Academy bright and early.
 
But while waiting in line, something happened.

"I overheard a couple of the poll workers saying that the machine wasn't counting," she said.

Thurmond says the malfunction was confirmed when she went to cast her ballot. 

"Being that today is our voter day, the machines should have been working properly. It's not like we vote everyday," she said.
 
Poll workers took her ballot and put in a locked box, assuring her that her vote will be cast. It turns out her ballot wasn't the only one waiting to be tallied.

"It was not tabulating, and then we had to put it in the slot in the bottom and they said they were going to tabulate them at the end of the day. That makes me feel like my vote is not really going to be counted," said voter Lamanda Matthews.

In the two hours since the polls opened, FOX 2 had 21 calls of machine malfunctions in Detroit alone.

"Typical election day morning -- M-100 voting devices/tabulators. We have to make sure those things are up and running and often times they aren't," Winfrey said.

She says there are policies and training in place in these situations.

"A team of technicians, they come out upon call and swap them out," she said.

If the machines can't be fixed, the ballots are put in a locked auxiliary box.

"Whenever the poll workers get a break in the day, they then open the auxiliary bin and run those ballots through," Winfrey said.

Still, the voters on the other end aren't as convinced the process will go as smoothly as it seems.

"I had the right to vote and I exercised my vote," Thurmond said. "However, I feel like my vote hasn't counted and it won't be counted."  


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