Spilled coffee causes temporary problems for voters and the Division of Elections

Published: Nov. 8, 2016 at 10:46 AM AKST
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Coffee caused some problems for voters and the Division of Elections today and temporarily shut down a voting machine.

Officials say someone spilled coffee on the optical scan unit at a voting location at the University Center, causing the machine to temporarily stop working. Because of the broken machine, voters had to drop their ballots into what the Division of Elections calls an "emergency slot."

"Because the machine quit working, voters were still there, and they needed to cast their ballot," said Julie Husman, election supervisor for the Mat-Su and Anchorage. "So we opened our emergency slot and when you open the emergency slot all the ballots are put in there and they're separate from the ones who've already went through the machine."

In the meantime, another black box was sent to the University Center while repairs were made to the optical scan. The votes already cast in the broken machine will be put into a sealed envelope.

Those votes will counted after 8 o'clock tonight.

Husman said the optical scan was quickly fixed and is back to taking ballots.