Voting delayed when poll workers couldn't 'connect' with e-pollbook

Polling station workers at Southwest Middle School had a lull Tuesday morning when they couldn't connect with the e-pollbook system to verify voter registration.

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - There was sporadic loss of connectivity with the electronic pollbooks used to verify voter identification during Tuesday’s primary election, causing some Rapid City voters to have to return later to cast their ballot.

What caused that glitch hasn’t been determined but it is not a new issue. Last year, Minneapolis voters were delayed because of a similar problem with that city’s e-pollbook system. Connectivity has been an off and on issue since the electronic voter systems began coming on line in 2006.

Eight counties, including Pennington, had sporadic loss of connectivity with e-pollbooks Tuesday. Some counties quickly switched to the back-up plan of paper voter registration lists and pollbooks. Others were able to quickly resolve the issues with the electronic pollbook vendor.

However, voting was delayed in Pennington and Hughes counties. That will prompt some polling places to possibly remain open later than the original 7 p.m. closing time. What polling stations will have extended hours has not been determined at the time of this post.

Extending polling times could delay the release of the returns. By state law, no returns can be publicized until all polling stations have closed.