Election Day opens smoothly

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Clerk’s office said some minor glitches in voting, mostly human error

By Lisa King

Election Day dawned cold but sunny, although a bit rough around the edges for the Shelby County Clerk's office, that had a few problems getting some polling places up and running due to a shortage of election officers to work at the precincts, something that has been a problem in the past, said County Clerk Sue Carole Perry.

"We had a hard time getting open because some precinct officers didn’t show up, you know, the usual thing," she said. "I prayed real hard last night and this morning both that everything would go well."

Perry said one voting machine, an eSlate model, went down at Persimmon Ridge, the same precinct, F-106, where an eScan machine broke down in the Primary Election in May. The technical problem with that machine was taken care of quickly, she said, adding she wished she could say the same for the biggest gliche of the day.

"The main thing today is the phone ringing off the wall for all these people that didn’t change their address," she said. "If they show up somewhere to vote, and their name’s not on the book, then they call our office and we check to see if they are registered in Shelby County, and if they are registered, we have to verify their address, and they have to go vote where ever they live, if they’re registered in Shelby County."

Perry said she didn't know what many people called in with that problem, but it was a considerable number. She said the worst thing about it was that it could have been easily prevented.

"You have to live in a precinct 30 days to vote. It says on your driver’s license, that when you move, within ten days, you’re supposed to change your address, and people don’t do that," she said. "And some of them, when they go to get their driver’s license, when they ask them if they want to register to vote, some of them say no and its says in the computer, they declined. And then they want to argue with you."

Shelby County Clerk Sue Carole Perry said last week she was expecting as many as 70 percent of Shelby County’s 28,231 registered voters, based on the large numbers of absentee ballots her office has received.

Althought that number has not yet been tallied, election officers at various precincts early in the day said the numbers of people turning out to vote were much greater than in previous elections.

Lolita Wilson, precinct officer in Bagdad, said the crowd was larger there as well.

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"This is my fifth year working at the pollis and it's a much better turnout than we had last time," she said.

Voters had the task of choosing between incumbent Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney for president, and selecting a representative for the new 4th Congressional District from the spirited race between Democrat Bill Adkins and Republican Thomas Massie.

There also are races for two districts on the Shelby County School Board – with incumbent Sam Hinkle and Karen Sams are vying in District 2 and incumbent Brenda Jackson and Kurt Smith in District 5 – and for seats on the Shelbyville City Council and the Simpsonville and Pleasureville city commissions. There also is a vote on a constitutional amendment on hunting and fishing.

Election Day

When: Tuesday

Time: Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Where: All Shelby County precincts

More info: Contact the Shelby County Clerk’s office at 633-4410


On the ballot

President/vice president, 4th Congressional District, Shelby County School Board, Shelbyville City Council, Simpsonville City Commission, Pleasureville City Commission and a state constitutional amendment on hunting and fishing.



To read profiles on candidates for races in Shelby County and other coverage of the election, visit www.SentinelNews.com/elections.