Oakland County clerk says cities had wrong paper for extra ballots

Reports of polling stations running out of ballots were widespread across Oakland County for Tuesday's primary.

Southfield was one of the places the Oakland County Clerk said it brought more ballots to last night. But Lisa Brown, the clerk, says she's not sure any polling places ran out of ballots.  

FOX 2: "There is some precincts and some people that didn't have ballot to vote with - and you're saying that may be wrong?"

"It may be wrong," Brown said. "I know I delivered some ballots to a precinct that the clerk had called up and said they were out of ballots. I got there and the precinct workers were like, 'what are you talking about, the clerk just brought us ballots.'"

Brown says the county delivered ballots on election night to polling places that were running low.

"Sometimes we'd show up and the poll workers were like there is no line, there is no people here, we just got more ballots, I don't know what you are talking about," Brown said. "We are interested in finding out what happened here."

The complaints were obvious from voters showing up to polls and telling us there weren't any ballots in some locations. Phones rang non-stop at FOX 2 throughout Tuesday night. 

FOX 2 has video of ballots being run into a Farmington Hills precinct for example. 

Brown confirms that: Novi, Madison, Ferndale, Hazel Park, Bloomfield Township, Royal Oak, Pontiac, Southfield and Farmington Hills were all places they delivered ballots to, on Tuesday night.

Brown said what is called the Voter Assist Terminal - for disabled voters to vote, could print ballots but many precincts couldn't use them.

"Many of our clerks did not order any blank paper that's the right size to use," Brown said. "That not only means that they could not print blank ballots, that means if they had a voter come in, that needed to use the VAT, if they had a disability, they could not vote."

Brown says at least 10 municipalities didn't have the right paper at some precincts to print ballots.

"That is not at the county, that is the local," Brown said. "If they didn't have the right paper for a person with a disability to use the Voter Assistance Terminal, that person could have a legal claim."

Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson spoke with FOX 2 about what happened.

"It's an embarrassment," he said. "It is an embarrassment for the clerk, it's my county, I am not happy about it this morning."

FOX 2 asked Brown if voters were turned away.

"I have heard that it happened," Brown said. "That should never happen, I don't understand why any poll worker would do that. I have not heard first hand, I heard that and there is no excuse for that."