11/19/2004

Nov 2nd: A sigh to behold: Problems down, turnout soars

State: A sigh to behold: Problems down, turnout soars: "Sometimes it went the other way. A St. Petersburg voter, Carole Krayer, said she pressed the Bush circle repeatedly only to see it open up, then pop down to Kerry. Her vote for Republican Senate candidate Mel Martinez popped down to Democrat Betty Castor.

A poll worker blamed her long fingernails, saying she must be hitting the wrong candidate with the pad of her finger.

'So I used my knuckle and hit the center of the circle and it flipped to Kerry,' Krayer said. She tried using a pencil eraser, with the same results.

Finally the poll worker moved her to another machine and she successfully cast her ballot for Bush and Martinez. 'This does not sound like a software problem,' said Ted Selker, co-director of the Cal Tech/MIT Voting Technology Project.

He said either voters touched the wrong choice or the machines were not calibrated right, meaning the button for selecting a candidate wasn't lined up properly with the candidate's name.

Vergia Virgil, 54, of Boynton Beach had to try twice to get her vote for Kerry to register. When asked if she might have accidentally pressed Bush the first time, Virgil didn't hesitate.

'Oh no, no, no, no,' she said. 'It was no accident. I know who I pushed.'"

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