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Voting machine glitches are few; results in faster
Election smooth, turnout light
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Forsyth County News

Turnout aside, Forsyth County's top elections official said Tuesday's primary went smoothly, with just a few minor glitches, including electronic voting machines.

Of more than 450 machines spread between the county's 33 precincts, five had to be shut down, Gary J. Smith said.

"We had an issue at the Concord precinct [in north Forsyth], where a person was voting and when he finished the voting, he said he had some problems with the machine," Smith said. "The poll managers asked if he felt his vote counted properly and he said he was satisfied that it was.

"They made a note of it, closed the machine down and then verified the numbers so we are able to do checks on the machine when it gets back to the warehouse."

Smith attributed problems with the other four machines to power issues.

But it was the turnout, or lack thereof that stuck with Smith.

"We've got Board of Education seats, we've got Board of Commission seats, these are very important positions that are being filled by less than 20 percent of the voters in the county," he said.

In the end, about 16.8 percent, or 14,632 of the county's 87,254 registered voters, participated in Tuesday's primary election.

A combination of low turnout, high early voting numbers and experience simplified the primary election, Smith said.

"We only had two provisional ballots, so that's positive from our standpoint," he said. "What that's saying is that voters are going to the right locations and have the right information with them and are prepared to vote when they get in."

Reporting of results also was streamlined this election, as Smith said the county changed the way the data was transferred to the Web site.

Results were also reported on the Forsyth County television station, which Smith also said helped spread the word.

The technology updates will be used again Aug. 5 when a runoff election will be held for the District 5 Board of Commission seat and the clerk of court position.

Because there will be fewer ballots, staff and voting machines used, the cost of the runoff will be about $30,000, Smith said, as compared to the $80,000 for Tuesday's election.