This morning, the Jackson Free Press received a tip about issues at Ward 7's precinct 97 in south Jackson, located at the Wahabi Shriners, 4123 Interstate 55 S.
The precinct is supposed to have one voting machine to read hand-marked ballots and count the votes. The machine, which poll workers said was scheduled for delivery at 6:15 a.m., didn't show up until 8:43 a.m., nearly two hours after the polls opened. And then it didn't work.
"When you change something, you have to get the kinks out," said poll manager Jessie Tyler, who has volunteered at the polls for 20 years. She added that elections usually come off like clockwork at the precinct. "We do not have this problem."
As poll workers wait for a technician to fix the machine, they're collecting voters' completed ballot in a folder. During this election, at least, precinct 97's record for problem-free balloting is broken.
Ward 7 Jackson City Council candidate June Hardwick was at the precinct this morning, and she was upbeat about her chances.
"It's time for the baton to be passed on to the passionate and energetic," she said.
She was also a bit dismayed at the polling problems.
"In 2013, voting should be a well-oiled machine," Hardwick said.
UPDATE: The voting machine at precinct 97 is up and running as of 9:53 a.m. Tyler, the poll manager, said the technician who set the machine up this morning failed to properly connect a power cord.
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