75% of voting machines in Washington County, Utah, are broken

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Voters in Washington County, Utah, faced some unexpected technical difficulties when about three-quarters of the county's voting machines malfunctioned on Tuesday morning.

According to the St. George Daily Spectrum, when the polls opened around 7 a.m., there were only enough programmed memory cards for 99 voting machines — rendering 281 out of the country's total 380 machines unusable.

While volunteers at some polling sites were able to get their machines up and running, albeit with delays, others had to resort to handing out paper ballots to voters or sending voters to alternate locations.

County Clerk Kim Hafen told the Spectrum that any votes cast on paper ballots would not be counted until after the election.

A woman casts her vote in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Source: 
Rick Bowmer/AP

Twitter user Brett Menzie, who was voting at a Washington County polling location, reported that some voters suspected there was malicious intent behind the snafu.

"They talk [nationally] about restricting voters," voter Peggy Graber told the Spectrum. "This is a good way to do it."

In a follow-up tweet, Menzie clarified that voting in Washington County is "not fraud and not rigged." He said he was able to vote in about 45 minutes.

Similaly, Spencer Cox, Utah Lt. Governor, confirmed in a tweet officials were doing everything in their power to take care of the problem as quickly as possible.

"Good news!" he wrote. "Washington County issue isolated. Cards are being reprogrammed and will be delivered to polling locations soon."

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Marie Solis

Marie is a Slay staff writer with focuses in culture and class. Her writing has appeared in Gothamist and the Awl. You can reach her at marie@mic.com.

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