The Sequoia Edge II ballot machine apparently likes a voter with a slow hand, an easy touch.

That's one possible reason why a Spring Grove resident's touchscreen vote for President Barack Obama turned into a vote for Republican Mitt Romney, said Nikki Suchanic, director of the county's Department of Elections and Voter Registration.

"If you're heavy-handed or a little shaky, could that make it go off-kilter? Yeah," Suchanic said. "The machine was stopped and recalibrated and worked fine."

The foul-up illustrates why it's important for people to pay attention when the machines provide a final screen-view of the selections made, she said.

The Spring Grove snafu was one of several voting problems reported across the county Tuesday. In addition to long lines, complaints included seemingly registered voters not appearing on the voting book and confusion about whether voter identification was necessary.

But party leaders from both sides of the aisle said all issues were resolved by Wednesday morning.

"We contacted the elections office multiple times throughout the day," said Chad Baker, director of communications and marketing for the York County Democratic Party. "For the staff they have in that office and how overwhelming it can be. ... every issue, they were right on top of it."

Mistakes happen, he said.

"With electronic voting machines, you're going to hit those cases," he said. "If someone's voting for our guy and it's giving it to the other guy, yeah, um, we want that fixed right away.


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Suchanic said it was, as were a handful of other concerns.

ID confusion: Some voters were confused about whether identification was needed. At the last minute, implementation of a new law requiring all voters to show identification was stalled until next year. So after a big public campaign warning people to show ID, the rules reverted to an earlier version where it wasn't required. Poll workers were still supposed to ask for identification, but voters could still vote if they didn't have it.

However, some people were probably confused because, under an older law, first-time voters and voters who are new to their polling stations must show identification, Suchanic said.

But at the end of the day, she wasn't aware of anyone turned away from voting because they didn't have identification, she said.

Missing names: Other people complained because their names didn't appear on the voting book and they were asked to fill out provisional ballots, Suchanic said.

There are a couple potential causes for this, she said.

Numerous people assume they're registered to vote, but they might've been purged from files because of inactivity, she said. Voter registration isn't valid for life; they need to vote every five years to stay on the active rolls, she said.

And in at least one case, a poll worker simply overlooked a female voter's name because it was hyphenated and didn't alphabetically appear where expected, she said.

That voter's and other voters' provisional ballots should be tallied and entered into the total vote count by the end of next week, Suchanic said. Election workers must sift through all of the provisional ballots to research the voter and verify that he or she was registered to vote before the vote is counted.

Expand the office: Baker said the county's elections office should be both commended and expanded.

"I think the county needs to first of all consider investing in more machines, and it wouldn't be unthinkable to expand that office and add some staff. The sheer volume of what occurred ... I think they did a remarkable job."

Bob Wilson, who heads the York County Republican Party, said he's not aware of any issues outstanding from Tuesday.

"We ran into a few problems, but at the end of the day the York County elections office has done an outstanding job considering the number of people who cast a ballot," he said. "It could have been a lot worse. I don't know how they do what they do in the amount of time they have."

- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffman@yorkdispatch.com.