Some Luzerne County polling places experience voting machine issues

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The opening of polls this Election Day was not without some problems. Most of the polling places opened without any issues. But there were some exceptions, and voters were not happy about it.

“Come seven o’clock the polls weren’t open yet,” said James martin, a voter from Larksville. “This is the big election, it’s real big, you can see by the way it’s going here, right?”

That’s what Eyewitness News heard from voters waiting in line at this polling place in Larksville Tuesday morning. They had been waiting in line since before 7 a.m., but the doors did not open until around 8:15. Some tell us that many voters left because they had other commitments such as work.

In other parts of Luzerne County, there were problems.

“We found out that the machines were all down, and then one started working. Now we just got in and everything went smooth, it was great,” said Karen Warakomski of Nanticoke.

“A cheer broke out when the door opened and then when the first person came out he said it’s all like confusion, there’s four machines, only one is working and that’s when everybody got a little bit like, ‘Wow, we’ve got work to go to, and I don’t know if I’m gonna make it’. I hope everything gets straightened out,” Dan Warakomski, also of Nanticoke said.

Within a short period of time, all the voting machines were up and running.

“Yeah, listen, unfortunately there’s going to be issues when we open up these polling places. We have 129 here in Luzerne County over 100 opened without any issues,” said David Pedri, Luzerne County Manager. “Most of the issues were technical in nature. The most important thing is no voters were turned away.”

Pedri says the county is using new voting machines, more than 700 countywide. He says despite intense training of county staff, there are challenges using something new. He says there were no major issues as the day went along.

For the latest updates on mail-in ballots, click here.

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