Power outage hits 2 Warren County polling places

Outage didn't stop voters, elections official says
Posted at 5:51 PM, Nov 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-08 20:49:18-05

LEBANON, Ohio -- There were some long lines at polling places around the Tri-State early Tuesday, and a power outage affected two Warren County polling places.

The outage, which began at about 1 p.m., didn't stop voters from casting their ballots, the deputy director of the Warren County Board of Elections said.

It affected the Warren County Board of Elections office and Faith Building Church. Both locations had power back on within about 45 minutes.

FOLLOW LIVE: Election Day in the Tri-State

The board prepares for emergencies such as an electrical outage, Deputy Director of Elections Shari Huff said. Tablets used to check in voters run on battery power, and voters fill out paper, not electronic, ballots.

At Faith Building Church, emergency lighting kicked on to ensure voters could see inside the building.

"I think we have about 12 to 16 workers here, and we probably had about 30 to 40 people here voting at the time. And of course everyone was all excited at first," pastor Anthony Wade said.

Warren County has 172 polling locations. None of the other locations lost power.

The main library in downtown Cincinnati had long lines Tuesday morning, as well as polling places in Norwood and Hebron.

Ohio's elections chief says voting in the swing state went smoothly and turnout was robust. Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted told reporters Tuesday in Columbus that concerns over voter intimidation at the polls never materialized on Election Day. He thanked poll workers and voters for being "on their best behavior."

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump had called on supporters to watch for fraud at the polls. That stirred fears of minority voters being confronted and challenged by self-appointed poll watchers.

Husted said he believed such intimidation fears were exaggerated because there was no evidence that it was going to happen. He says Ohio was prepared for intimidation reports.

Voter advocates manning an election protection hotline in Ohio say they've heard reports of "typical problems," such as questions about provisional ballots, but no major issues.

Carrie Davis of the League of Women Voters of Ohio says hotline callers asked questions about what identification to bring to polls and where to vote. She says some callers also reported isolated complaints of intimidation that were quickly resolved.

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