Printing woes plague poll workers

Published 12:09 am Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NATCHEZ — Printing woes on voting machines across the county delayed election results a bit Tuesday night, election officials said.

While poll worker cards got stuck in a few machines, Election Commissioner Larry Gardner said one of the night’s main delays was due to the printers attached to the voting machines being overtaxed and paperless.

“(The printers) were not built as good as they should be for what we’re using them for. They’re really not designed to be used like this,” Gardner said.

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Gardner said the printers were running out of paper and stalling due to all of the information passing through machines.

Gardner said the printers were not built into the polling machines, but were given to the county at no additional charge.

“We got 129 machines with free printer housings,” Gardner said. “They had to (install) it quickly.”

“The machines were never designed for this printer housing. They were put in as an afterthought because the board of supervisors would not accept (poll results) without a paper trail,” Gardner said.

The printing problems also delayed the close of the election.

“It won’t let you close the election until it prints at least one copy of a report,” Gardner said.

The county began using the current voting machines in 2006.