"The early morning rain does not appear to be keeping anyone away," said Sherrill Huff, King County elections director Tuesday. "The poll workers are upbeat and happy about the energy in their polling places."
Problems were reported from scattered polling places, but officials say everyone was been able to vote successfully and that improvements in the process at King County Elections "ensure votes will be counted accurately."
Four main complaints were reported.
First, tabulation machines at election headquarters were down for two hours in the morning, workers say, because a piece of hardware that connects the ballot counting equipment to the central server was not working properly. The problem was isolated and the hub removed, according to the elections bureau.
As of 1 p.m., 32 of the 38 machines were tabulating and ballot counting resumed.
Hourly counts surpassed the predicted 10,000 ballots per hour, and officials said they expected impacts will be minimal to the initial projection of 100,000 absentee ballots counted on Election Day.
"It is important to note that this part does not in any way effect the accuracy of the vote totals," said King County Elections spokesperson Bobbie Egan.
At Mount Baker Presbyterian Church voters who showed up first thing in the morning were given provisional ballots instead of poll ballots, causing confusion among voters. The situation was quickly corrected by an on-site inspector, officials said, and the provisional ballots would be counted as regular ballots and tallied after Election Day.
At Whitworth Elementary School three voters complained that their ballots did not feed through the Accu Vote machine properly. Workers said early morning rain dripped from coats or umbrellas onto the voters' ballots, making them too thick to fit into the Accu Vote Machine.
Elections officials said any uncounted ballots would be "reconciled" and a "one-hundred-percent audit" would be conducted of the polling place to ensure all ballots are counted.
First thing this morning the voter hotline was active with high volumes of calls and some callers were getting a busy signal. King County added 12 phone lines to the existing 70 for a total of 82 staffed phone lines.
People typically call the voter helpline for information about polling place locations and absentee ballots. Anyone who has difficulty getting through was urged to hang up and dial again.
Reports of long lines also plagued the polling places. Officials tried to address their concerns announced that anyone in line at their polling place at 8 p.m. would be able to vote.