Hamilton County voting reported by election official as going smoothly

Hamilton County voting reported by election official as going smoothly

November 6th, 2012 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

People are lined up early this morning at the Boynton Center in the Golden Gateway as they waited to cast their votes. The center is the voting place for two downtown precincts.

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

Voting was reportedly moving smoothy in Hamilton County this morning though voting machines that serve Alton Park and Snow Hill were down for a brief time.

Administrator of Elections Charlotte Mullis-Morgan of the election commission said a machine at the Bethlehem Center, serving Alton Park, and one at Hamilton County High School on Career Lane in Harrison, which serves Snow Hill precincts one and two, were down briefly.

But they are functioning again, she said. "Everything is up and going."

She noted that the machines date to 1998.

But one voter, John Benefield, disputed the smoothness in the wake of his experience at the Alton Park precinct.

"Let me tell you, it was pure chaos," he said in an email. "I have voted and lived in Alabama, Texas, and now Tennessee. Today was by far the worst and most unorganized I have ever seen a voting precinct. I even voted once in a downtown Houston, TX, precinct and it was calm compared to Alton Park today."

He described the situation as "no organization, no process and very little order."

Benefield also said having two precincts in the same building "is a recipe for disaster without proper planning," and expressed concern if his vote will be counted properly.

At Middle Valley Baptist Church, 445 people had voted by noon.

Officials said there had been a slow, steady flow of voters throughout the morning. They said there had been no problems with machines or photo ID requirements.