County-wide ballot shortage forces voters to wait - WNEM TV 5

County-wide ballot shortage forces voters to wait

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GENESEE COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

Dan Stopka is one of the dozens of local voters who waited for hours to cast their votes.

"You would think they would understand the turnout is going to be a whole lot higher because of the frustration," Stopka said.       

There were some major problems in some Genesee County precincts.

"They said that at 8 o’clock, to write our name and number on a piece of paper, along with our candidate, and that would be considered a vote. I just don't buy that," Stopka said.

Stopka's voting spot is Eisenhower Elementary School. He said they ran out of Republican ballots.

A similar situation unfolded at Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church.

"We had a little hiccup where the voting ballots ran out. I was here earlier, so I went on to do some other business and came back to finish voting," said Chris Miller.

Genesee County Clerk John Gleason said it is up to the city and township clerks to request the number of ballots they think they'll need and they didn't account for the number of voters who turned out on Tuesday.

"Probably about midday, they started coming in that voters were not able to vote immediately. We had calls that there was up to a two-hour wait at one precinct," Gleason said.

He said he also received one report of someone being turned away because a precinct ran out of ballots.

"I know we probably have to have a serious discussion after the election to make sure that we don't inconvenience voters in the future," Gleason said.

Stopka, who was still waiting when TV5 left him after 8 p.m. hopes so.

"In matter of fact, I saw one gentleman switch his vote from Republican to Democrat because he didn't want to wait," Stopka said.

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