Oops: Some Illinois Ballots Too Big for Scanners

Officials get unpleasant Election Day surprise
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2012 7:35 PM CDT
Oops: Some Illinois Ballots Too Big for Scanners
Voters fill out ballots Tuesday at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Urbana, Ill.   (AP Photo/David Mercer)

Illinois has something to work on for the general election in November: making sure its ballots aren't too big. Elections officials discovered to their alarm today that some ballots would not fit into scanners for counting and had to be trimmed by hand, reports the Chicago Tribune. The snafu wasn't a huge deal, affecting a few thousand ballots at most over 25 counties. Elections workers even learned a quick trick: If they flipped a given stack of ballots, the ones on the bottom worked better.

"It was an issue in the trimming of the ballots," says one of the state's ballot vendors. "The knives they use to cut the ballots as they come off the press were just a little out of tolerance. If you saw it, you wouldn't believe it was enough to cause a problem. We are thinking this warm weather might have had something to do with it, too." (More Illinois stories.)

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