Update: Election Day Brings Light Voter Turnout in St. Charles County
St. Charles County Director of Elections Rich Chrismer says three memory cards for voting machines failed this morning, were replaced before polls opened.
Light voter turnout was expected in St. Charles County in this election.
Although Director of Elections Rich Chrismer had originally anticipated 18 percent turnout—by 1 p.m. he revised it to about 10 percent.
"It's pretty bad," he said. "In Lake Saint Louis by 11 a.m. we had over 100 votes cast at most precincts. In St. Peters, we are lucky to have 40."
The City of O'Fallon also saw a low turn-out before noon on Tuesday.
Election judges at Precinct 160 said they were expecting around a 6 percent turnout. The polling place at O'Fallon City Hall had 39 voters by 11:30 a.m.
According to the machine at Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 89 residents in precinct 162 cast votes just before noon.
And at Emge Elementary School, 36 residents in precinct 170 voted by noon.
Chrismer said the day started with three memory cards failing before the polls even opened.
He said the cards are inside the voting machines and tabulate the votes. The cards are among the first things the judges test in the morning, so the Election Authority was able to get new memory cards out to those polling places before 7 a.m.
"They knew right away in the morning, so no one was denied their right to vote," he sad.
If the memory cards were to fail during the day, the ballots would be put in a security sleeve and fed into a different machine in the evening to be counted.
Chrismer said with this election, manually feeding the ballots is not a big deal, in November with anticipated 90 percent turnout, manually feeding ballots would lead to delays in counting.
"It takes longer and it'll be many, many hours longer if it happens in November," he said.
Last week, after testing the 122 voting machines, 12 memory cards had to be replaced.
"We have to check all the equipment, then we're assured they're all working," he said. "We found 12 that failed. I told the County Council, 'I'm tired of having to patch this equipment up.'"
The Election Authority bid out the cost to buy 260 voting machines at $1.2 million. However, because the County only received one bid, County Executive Steve Ehlmann vetoed the purchase. The county council didn't have enough votes to override the veto, so last Tuesday, the council opted to re-bid the items.