Some Problems Reported With Voting Machines in New Hanover

NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- Today's election was a major test for the new optical scan voting machines. The machines were used for the first time in New Hanover County for the May primaries, and workers encountered several problems.

Today, the problems continued at about a dozen precincts, but officials tell us the problems were due to operator error.

"We're still in a learning curve, getting familiar with the equipment, and it's going to take some more hands-on training for precinct officials and voters to get used to the equipment," said Bonnie Williams, director of the New Hanover County Board of Elections.

Workers say the problems were fixed by 9 a.m.

Electronic issues weren't the only frustrations folks faced as they cast their ballots. Some voters say they were pestered at the polls.

Candidates and their supporters headed out to voting locations - despite the rain - to shake hands and talk to the people standing in line.

One candidate says he was at the polls not to pester, but to inform.

"We're doing what you call last-minute rallying, shaking voters hands, asking for support," said Frankie Roberts, who is challenging incumbent Thomas Wright for the 18th District seat in the N.C. House of Representatives. "A lot of (times) in the downtown precincts you have to do some education."

Polls opened at 6:30 a.m. and will remain open until 7:30 p.m.