The late-breaking announcement of five changed Ada County polling places drew confusion and consternation from some voters Friday, while at the same time a statewide computer slowdown was causing hourlong waits at the polls on the last day of early voting.
Ada’s goal of 60,000 early ballots cast was easily surpassed Thursday, Deputy Chief Clerk Phil McGrane said, with more than 43,000 voting in person and just over 20,000 ballots received by mail by day’s end.
The county had anticipated as many as 5,000 additional ballots Friday by the time early voting ends at 5 p.m. But the state voter database was struggling to keep pace with heavy early voting statewide, leading to a slowdown at the polling places.
“We’re telling everyone what the problem is as they come up. So far voters have been really patient with us,” McGrane said. “It’s fair to say it’s an hour wait” at all early voting locations, he said.
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The office yesterday was also fielding questions about changes to five polling locations, in Districts 16-19. Notices were sent to voters Monday, but one, for District 18 voters, was dated Oct. 14 and contained outdated information, leading voters to believe the notice was mailed two weeks late.
“There’s no question there was a mistake by our office,” McGrane said.
Two of the polling site changes, in Districts 16 and 17, were necessary for access by disabled voters, McGrane said. In two others, in District 18, the hosting locations asked the county to move. The last, in District 19, was changed to a more central location – and one with heat.
Ada County polling place changes
Collister United Methodist
Collister Community Church
Euclid Community Church of the Nazarene
BSU Alumni and Friends Center
Brookdale Assisted Living
Ada County Indigent Services Office
Our Lady of the Rosary Church
Hidden Springs Fire Department
Hidden Springs Community Clubhouse