Payette County short on ballots after being 'inundated' with voters

PAYETTE COUNTY -- Multiple precincts in Payette County ran low of ballots Tuesday afternoon after polling places were "inundated" with voters Tuesday, County Clerk Betty Dressen confirmed.

According to the county clerk's office, at least six of the county's largest precincts ran low on physical paper ballots Election Day.

The county has ordered new ballots from a local printing company, and said they were being distributed by 2 p.m. Those ballots will be hand-counted by pollworkers once the polls are closed.

Kari Peterson of Fruitland said went to Fruitland City Hall to vote at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. As she was handed her ballot, she was told it was the last one in the precinct.

"There was probably 50 people waiting in there at that time," she said.

Peterson said the other voters in line were directed to wait for the polling place's sole electronic voting machine. Some people waited for hours to cast their ballot, she said. Others left, with plans to return when the line was not as long.

According to Peterson, pollworkers said more ballots were expected to arrive by 3 p.m. She said she was disappointed election officials had not ensured there would be enough ballots for all the voters.

"It's the biggest election of the year, how could you mishandle this so badly?" she said.

The county clerk's office noted that no precinct ran out of the "express ballots" that are used in the electronic voting machines, but said some voters preferred to wait for a regular ballot. 

County officials have inquired with the Secretary of State's Office to see whether they are allowed to remain open past the 8 p.m. deadline. 

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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