Voting glitch: Secretary of State in right place at right time when machine jammed

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Secretary of State Bill Gardner, right, happened to be at Ward 2 to vote when a machine jammed.
Secretary of State Bill Gardner, right, happened to be at Ward 2 to vote when a machine jammed.

MANCHESTER, NH – Things got off to an interesting start in Ward 2 on Election Day, according to voter Elizabeth Ropp, who witnessed the aftermath of a machine malfunction.

Ropp said that when Alderman-at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur got wind of the machine jam, he went to the polls to observe. However, Secretary of State Bill Gardner was already there, and asked Levasseur, who is on the ballot for Executive Council, to step back, according to Ropp.

“Joe continued to shake hands with voters. Some people asked him to leave. He called someone a “weirdo.” This is a great start to the worst election in my lifetime,” Ropp wrote on the accompanying Facebook post.

The whole incident was relatively routine, according to City Clerk Matthew Normand.

“I can confirm that a voter inadvertently jammed their ballot in the tabulator in Ward 2 this morning.  Election officials are trained to continue to accept ballots into the hand count slot in the side of the ballot box until we can respond with a replacement tabulator so that lines do not back up more than usual,” Normand said. “By the time we responded, they had cleared the jam and the tabulator was accepting ballots correctly.  All ballots in the hand count box were eventually run through the tabulator correctly.  This happens at least once in every election.”

About Carol Robidoux 5548 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.