Ballot boxes make a comeback

Monday, November 3rd 2008, 7:12 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

SHAWNEE, Okla. -- One Oklahoma County is bringing back an old practice for this election. Tuesday, voters in Shawnee will use a device they haven't seen in 18 years.

Lines have been long in Pottawatomie County since Friday. Voters are more than willing to wait an hour to cast their ballots.

"I have lived a long life and in my lifetime I've never seen an election going like I have right now," voter Clara Collins said.

"I just wanted to make sure that my vote was heard, that what I had to say was heard," early voter Jan Cosper said.

Voters from Shawnee have two ballots, one for federal and state issues and another for city races. But Tuesday, things will run differently.

"Our Shawnee city election, we had a glitch in our computer system and we were not able to set up the Shawnee election as normal," Pottawatomie County Election Board Secretary Diana Knight said

The election board doesn't have enough electronic counting machines to pass out to polling places, so voters will put their city wide ballots in old fashioned ballot boxes.

"We're asking them not to fold them, just to drop them into the tub," Knight said.

Then, they'll be fed into an electronic counting device by hand, one by one, at the election board.

"We never thought we'd have to use them again but we did. I had to borrow ballot boxes from other counties to have enough. I had gotten rid of most of mine," Knight said.

Each ballot box has three locks to prevent any tampering.

"I think it's worthwhile. It's worth it to take every extra precaution to make sure the voting is actually counted," voter Nance Diamond said.

The Pottawatomie County Election Board secretary said every vote will count.

"We feel confident that everything will be fine, the end result will be the same. It's just going to take a little longer," Knight said.

The process will delay election results. The Shawnee city races won't be determined until 11 p.m. at the earliest.