Aug 4 2006
08:53 am
Around two o'clock thursday afternoon, Roane County election Commissioner, Tony Brown predicted a record turnout of between 18,000 and 20,000 voters. This morning the talley is just over 12,000. Between 4000 and 8000 voters turned away from impossibly long lines. The wait was between an 1 hour and 2 1/2 hours depending upon precinct.
At the precinct I was at, we saw cars slowing to turn in and then going on their way after seeing the long line backing out of the building. We saw people leaving after hearing they would have to wait almost two hours. Some got their check in ticket and left after waiting for as much as an up.
At one precinct voters who had been standing as long as two hours were stunned when an election official escorted the son and daughter in law of a local Republican official past them and up to the front of the line. People left the line in anger and went home.
Some people working evening shifts had to leave and go to work after standing in line for almost two hours.
Angry, disgusted, disappointed...
At 6:00 we estimated that our precinct would not finish voting until midnite. When the results were turned in before ten o'clock we knew what had happened.
(note: I do not believe at this point that this had any bearing on winners and losers but I haven't had much chance to analyze the talley. I will point out that the greatest number of people who were unable to cast ballots were those who hold jobs and arrived after work thinking they could vote on their way home.)
Congratulations to the winners...

Scorpio's picture

And that is just in the primary ....

What will the general election be like, and why don't folks who are cut in front of like that just get in the faces of those who cut in line? It's worth doing, really it is!

WhitesCreek's picture

Personally, I would have

Personally, I would have caused a fuss, but I wasn't at that precinct. The general should flow better because the ballot will be much simpler. Still I wonder, now that people have such a bad taste left form this experience.

Andy Axel's picture

Sounds to me like a

Sounds to me like a beta-test for future shenanigans.

The Tennessean files this report from the mid-state:


Long lines at several polling locations around the state left some voters sweltering in the hot sun for hours and others waiting hours after polls closed to cast ballots.

Delays were chalked up to lengthy ballots and, in several cases, to new computer voting systems. Lines also backed up as people hit the polls after work.

At 9 p.m., two hours after the polls closed, voters were still waiting in Vanleer and the Charlotte area, according to the Dickson County Election Commission.

Vote tallying bogged down in several counties, including Wilson.

In Davidson County, Eastland Baptist Church precinct workers didn't bring the memory card containing the votes cast to the Election Commission office.

"We're out there trying to get it right now," Ray Barrett, Davidson election administrator, said at 11:25 p.m. Thursday.


"This is the absolute worst voting experience I've had since 1986," said Perri Reed after voting at Mitchell-Neilson Primary School in Murfreesboro.

"I have been in here an hour and 20 minutes. They have three election machines. In a ballot with 13 pages, it's ridiculous to have three machines."

So many people tried to bypass the machine line and cast paper ballots that the practice was halted, said Hooper Penuel, Rutherford election administrator.

At least 600 paper ballots were cast in Williamson County to avoid waiting or learning the computer system, said Assistant Election Registrar Chad Gray.


At Una Baptist Church on Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville, the voting machines were not ready until about 7:30 a.m., 30 minutes after the poll was supposed to open.


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R. Neal's picture

So much for the touted

So much for the touted benefits of the Diebold Subsidy Act Help America Vote act.

Andy Axel's picture

My experience with the new

My experience with the new system: The machine was intuitive enough for me, but still, (a) I'm a damn techie by trade, so it should, and (b) it had a really cheap feel to it.

In some ways, it felt less official than the punch cards that I've used.

For generations, we have used paper to keep track of these things. I'm no Luddite by any means, but I certainly know that technology has its shortcomings.

I think I'll trade the supposed conveniences of this newfangled technology for the cumbersome necessity of a paper trail.


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Factchecker's picture

Steve's account

Steve's account is mind-boggling.  My opinion of the new machines after using the e-Slate machine yesterday mirrors Andy's exactly. 

I voted at Mt. Olive at about 7pm and it was more crowded than I'd ever seen it.  I thought the long times that people were at the machines reflected the new and newfangled technology.  But frankly I don't think it was that as much as it was the LONG ballot full of judges I wasn't prepared to "judge."  (I don't recall seeing those on the sample ballot, other than our local jurisdication judges.) 

But even skipping over those judges added a lot of time to the process.  Moreover, there's a lot to be said for the old way of seeing every race in front of you, instead of on several virtual pages (12 of 'em for Knox Co!).  I'm sure officials love having small, light machines, which means a display that's about 8-1/2 x 11 inches.  And the type has to be large enough for old or weak eyes.  But I don't have a good feeling about this experience. 

Bet these machines last a tiny fraction as long as the old ones they replace.  That's a cost I wonder whether was considered.

Andy Axel's picture

After the 2000 disaster,

After the 2000 disaster, there were reports that there were some districts still using the Myers (mechanical lever type) voting machines.

Those debuted in 1892.


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Anonymous's picture

I am originally from Roane

I am originally from Roane Co and now reside in Knox co...Roane county gov. absolutely amazes me...I have several relatives that still live in Roane Co. and work in Roane co. gov....the things that go on there would blow your mind..I also "worked" the election ..while we were at lunch, a candidate running for county mayor was overheard at the next table telling th story of how he was "run off the road" the night before the election!

WhitesCreek's picture

"Run off the Road" doesn't

"Run off the Road" doesn't cover it. Tyler was standing in the grass next to the on ramp at I 40 waving at folks going to work. An ex local judge who will go to jail soon, pulled up, rolled down the window and said, "You're gonna get killed doing this."

 Tyler laughed and said, "It's dangerous but it's the only time I get to see working folks." The ex judge drove off.

20 minute later tyler saw a vehicle run across the median and head straight toward him. he jumped out of the way and was narrowly missed as the vehicle ran over the spot where he had been standing.

This was just the beginning of this episode which I'll try to cover later this weekend. For now, It;s friday night and it is the anniversary of the 22nd year that this woman near me has been legally attached to my fortunes. I have plied her with margueritas...

I must go.



Stacey's picture

Campbell Co

I heard on the news that people were voting til 11 pm in Campbell Co with very long lines. They unseated a 16 yr incumbent sheriff up there, after some deputies from there ended up in prison I guess its time. Stacey

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