POLLS OPEN UNTIL 8: Election training criticized
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Nov 06, 2012 | 2185 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
AMVETS POST 13 Commander Daniel Koob places a flag on his father’s grave while also placing flags on other veterans’ graves at Fort Hill Cemetery. Koob places flags on the graves of veterans in preparation for Veterans Day each year. The approach of Veterans Day carries extra meaning this week as Bradley County voters today join the rest of America in casting ballots on Election Day 2012. Banner photo, JOYANNA WEBER
AMVETS POST 13 Commander Daniel Koob places a flag on his father’s grave while also placing flags on other veterans’ graves at Fort Hill Cemetery. Koob places flags on the graves of veterans in preparation for Veterans Day each year. The approach of Veterans Day carries extra meaning this week as Bradley County voters today join the rest of America in casting ballots on Election Day 2012. Banner photo, JOYANNA WEBER
slideshow
Today is the day Americans will make a choice for president and Tennesseeans will make choices for state and federal government positions. Schools are closed and election polls will remain open until 8 p.m.

During a Bradley County Election Commission meeting Monday, concerns arose about training procedures for poll workers and the machines on which Bradley County voters cast their ballots.

The Microvote machines were purchased in 2002 and have been consistently used by voters since.

“Training updates are conducted each election cycle,” said Steve Crump, a Republican member of the Bradley County Election Commission.

“The big change this year was the Voter ID law,” he said.

“Workers have handled early voting very well with this new change,” added Crump.

“Getting the correct number of folks to work in elections is difficult and we are fortunate to have a lot of good people who will give their day to the process,” he said.

According to Crump, 70 poll workers are in the 17 Bradley County precincts today.

Relating to a complaint of workers not being sufficiently trained which surfaced Monday during a meeting of the Election Commission, Crump said training and procedure have not changed.

“We strive to have a perfect election, but humans make mistakes. There is not an election commission anywhere that doesn’t experience issues. We, as a commission, look at this every election year and evaluate any issues and seek the state’s advice how to improve and make sure training is up-to-date and adequate.

“The complaint from one worker was that he felt a co-worker didn’t have adequate knowledge of the voting machines,” said Theba Hamilton, chairperson of the Election Commission. “He asked for additional help at his precinct at Walker Valley. We added two additional workers ... a Republican and a Democrat. The complaint would have been resolved prior to today if we had knowledge of a problem. We have placed the other workers at the precinct and wish any worker with complaints or problems to approach the commission for suggestions. We will welcome them.”

“It’s good we have citizens to come in and voice their issues. I am sure we will address and cover the concerns,” said Dana Burgner, who is a Democratic commissioner on the Elections Commission.

“As far as the voting machines, Microvote will be phased out at one point and optical scan machines will replace them for greater voter confidence,” Burgner said.

Burgner said all avenues are taken for the security and integrity of the voting process.

After today’s voting, an audit and certification will be conducted.

Voting machine checks are put into place before elections are held and information is downloaded and analyzed by the officials.

Voting locations are; McDonald Ruritan Club, Hopewell Elementary School, Walker Valley High School, the Bradley County Senior Center, Michigan Avenue Elementary School, Blue Springs Concession, Community Services, Black Fox Elementary School, Cleveland High School, Stuart Elementary School, Waterville Community School, Valley View Elementary School, Blythe-Bower Elementary School, Oak Grove Elementary School, E.L. Ross Elementary School, Prospect Elementary School and Lee University.

Candidates for today’s elections are: U.S. President, Barack Obama (D) and Mitt Romney (R); Senate District 10, Andre McGary (D) and Todd Gardenhire (R); U.S. House of Representatives, 3rd Congressional District, Chuck Fleischmann (R) and Dr. Mary Headrick (D); U.S. House of Representatives, 4th Congressional District, Eric Stewart (D) and Dr. Scott DesJarlais (R); U.S. Senate, Bob Corker (R) and Mark E. Clayton (D); Tennessee House of Representatives District 22, Eric Watson (R) and Jonathon Gladden (D); Tennessee, District 24 incumbent Kevin Brooks (R), is unopposed in his race.