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Problems at the Polls

We just checked in with Steven Robert Allen, executive director of Common Cause New Mexico and former Alibi editor.

He says the big news this morning is that the organization has had reports of several broken machines throughout the city. "A dozen optical scanners have not been able to read the ballots properly, so they've been rejecting ballots," he says.

As polling officials have been trained to do, they're feeding those rejected ballots into an emergency bin. Those ballots will have to be hand-tallied later.

Six of the scanners have been recalibrated to read ballots properly. It's been speculated that the problem lies with how the ballots were cut. They're either too narrow or too wide.

"It's not a huge deal, but that is a large number of machines for this small an election," Allen says. Still, he adds, things seem to be running smoothly, and the polling sites are fairly busy for a municipal election.

Common Cause has deployed volunteers to polling locations across the city to monitor how things are going out there.

We'll touch base with Allen as the day progresses.


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