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Voters waited for hours in Riverside County; glitch has been fixed, officials say

A pile of "I Voted" stickers.
Stickers are seen at a polling station on the UC Irvine campus in 2018.
(Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

Some voters reported waiting for hours to cast a ballot in Riverside County on Saturday because of a technological glitch, which officials say has since been fixed.

The slowdown was caused by an issue with the voter registration “look-up system,” officials said. When people arrive at a voting center to cast a ballot in person, staffers look them up in the system to check them in and then void the vote-by-mail ballot that was sent to their home, said Brooke Federico, a spokeswoman for Riverside County.

At some of the county’s 130 voting centers, the volume of people seeking to check in at once caused the registration look-up system, effectively, to freeze, she said.

“It wasn’t for the entire day, and it wasn’t at all locations, but there were intermittent delays where it was simply timing out and our teams at the voter assistance centers weren’t able to confirm an individual voter,” she said.

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Voters were urged to be patient and, in some locations, given provisional ballots, she said. Some took to social media to report waiting for more than three hours to vote.

“We do understand that there were significant delays for our voters at certain locations,” Federico said.

The issue did not affect the ballot marking machines, which are not connected to the internet, she said.

A team of county officials and information technology experts worked with the system’s vendor, DFM Associates, to identify the issue, which was fixed Saturday afternoon, Federico said.

“We were able to report that our voter assistance centers were able to process voters much faster yesterday afternoon,” she said Sunday. “Today, we are also expecting that we will be able to process voters much faster with fewer delays.”

Many voting centers had opened by 9 a.m. Sunday and were reporting no problems, she said.

The delays affected only those who sought to vote in person Saturday. People can also vote by returning their vote-by-mail ballot to a vote center, dropping it off at one of the 80 drop boxes around Riverside County or mailing it through the U.S. Postal Service. All ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by the registrar of voters by Nov. 20 will be counted, officials said.


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