Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Machine Shortages Reported.

Byline: Andrea Schoellkopf, Jeremy Pawloski And Steve Shoup Journal Staff Writers

Some Voters Faced Waits of 2-3 Hours

Sandoval County Clerk Sally Padilla said Monday you never know how an election will go.

Tuesday proved she wasn't wrong.

Lack of voting machines in heavily registered precincts led to long lines and frustration for some voters in the county.

The county's election manager assumed responsibility, saying he accidentally wrote down 200 instead of 2,000 for the number of voters in Precinct 50, which includes the growing Enchanted Hills subdivision near N.M. 528 and U.S. 550.

"Anytime you have an election, we have so many things going on," said Eddie Gutierrez, who has managed the county's election bureau for the last 16 years.

Tuesday night Padilla said 5,285 absentee ballots were being counted by machine, but she didn't know when they would be done.

Earlier Tuesday, county election officials had been hand-counting 2,500 absentee ballots nearly half of the total when the computer was unable to scan the results.

"It's been a mess down here," said Republican Party official Steve vanHorn, who was monitoring the counting late Tuesday afternoon. …

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