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Voters in Madison County waited long into election night to cast their ballot

Will the problem be fixed?
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Posted at 2:43 PM, Nov 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-04 21:50:52-05

MADISON CO. — It was a long day and night in Madison County on Tuesday as voters waited hours past the official close time of 6 p.m. to cast their vote in the general election.

Some voters were still waiting in line after midnight to cast their vote, according to Madison County Clerk Olivia Pratt.

"They (voters) didn’t do anything to deserve these wait times. It should not have been this long," Pratt told WRTV on election night.

Pratt said Madison County was not ready for the big turnout of voters. The county has 170 new machines but reportedly needs twice that amount.

The long voting lines during Election Day was a problem Pratt was trying to prevent when she submitted a 35-page proposal to county commissioners for approval on a voting center earlier this year.

According to Pratt, county commissioners "refused to pay" for more equipment and her proposal was denied.

"We tried to order more equipment because we knew if we weren’t getting voting centers, we were not going to have enough machines for the general election," Pratt said. "They (the County Commission) refused to pay for those also. So we couldn’t get more equipment, and we talked to the state, and they said if you don’t get either of the voting centers or more equipment, you’re going to have some of the longest wait times in the state. And so here we are today."

In an effort to alleviate the long lines on Tuesday, the county handed out paper ballots to the voters. Pratt tells WRTV that it was everything they had.

Madison County poll workers didn't finish counting until 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday.