Some Lowndes County residents report problems in the voting booth

| March 1, 2016


VALDOSTA – Voters in at least two Lowndes County precincts experienced issues going to the polls Tuesday morning, but the Lowndes County Board of Elections says the issues have been fixed.

Deb Cox, supervisor of elections, said machines used to prepare voting cards malfunctioned at Precinct 1 in Hahira and at Precinct 7 on Madison Highway. Once the problems were identified, backup systems were put in place and voters who had concerns about their ballot were directed to cast provisional ballots, Cox said.

Hahira resident Brianna Fleener told ValdostaToday she is unsure if her vote will be counted despite casting a provisional ballot.

“I show up, I fill out the paper and I give it to the man at the counter,” Fleener said. “Next, I was given a card to insert into the machine, and when I pulled up the screen I realized I was given the wrong ballot.”

In Georgia, voters must choose which political party they will be casting a vote for in the primary: Democrat or Republican.

“As I look around, I notice I’m not the only one. Turns out that anyone voting Democrat received a Republican ballot,” Fleener said. “After making some phone calls, we were told we could fix it, but we were showing up in the system as voted when none of us had casted our ballots.”

Cox said accounts of voters being given incorrect voter cards were inaccurate and that voters who experienced the issue more than likely filled out their voter form incorrectly.

“It happens all the time,” Cox said.

Fleener maintains she filled out her voter form correctly and is still concerned her vote will not count.

“We were then given sheets that explicitly read ‘To find out if your vote counted,'” Fleener said. “If my voted counted? As a citizen, I meet all the requirements for my vote to count. I am beyond upset.”

Despite the morning issues, Cox said Lowndes County voting was busy but going smoothly.

More than 5,000 Lowndes County residents cast ballots during the early voting period, which is more than double than the last presidential primary in 2012, Cox said.

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9 Comments on "Some Lowndes County residents report problems in the voting booth"

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  1. Sandra Fleenet says:

    I was there this morning with my daughter, Brianna Fleener and although our political views differ I know 100% she filled out for a Democratic Party ballot. It’s not that hard. You choose the party. So Mrs Cox you are mistaken there is/was a problem.

  2. Mark Mears says:

    at 7:15am-7:30pm at Precinct 4: Northside Baptist Church Gym, 200 E. Park Avenue, Valdosta. I know of two people who were called by democratic party -properly filled out forms. The democratic party folks clustered together at the front of the line because we are “working out problems with the issuing of democratic ballots”. dozens of republican voters were ushered in to vote while we patiently waited at the front of the line. The problems were declared solved and the young lady in front of me was shown to the designated democratic person and received her yellow ballot card. She discovered it was in fact a republican ballot. We waited more time and I voted successfully, then another person in the democratic group directly behind me was given a republican ballot instead of a democratic ballot- also an appropriately requested a democratic ballot. Why the default to a republican ballot? Are all machines set to default to a republican ballot? Why is this not considered a problem?
    In addition some folks walked out because of the uncomfortable commotion.

  3. Mark Mears says:

    correction: time frame was 7:15am-7:30am, not 7:30pm.

  4. blacksheep says:

    I waited in line behind my daughter at Northside Baptist and the guy working asked my daughter which party and when she told him he said 88% of the African Americans that came in here today said the same thing now why was this statement needed when she is clearly white was he trying to shame her into voting differently