Incorrect ballots, voting machine problem among Election Day mishaps

Issues in Agawam and Springfield have since been resolved

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Voting got off to a smooth but busy start in most precincts across western Massachusetts Tuesday morning, but there were a couple issues.

Some incorrect ballots were delivered to the polls in Springfield’s Ward 4. Ballots that were supposed to be for a different ward of the city were instead delivered to Ward 4. The issue has since been corrected.

22News has contacted Springfield’s election commissioner and a spokesperson for the mayor’s office for more information on the error, and we are waiting to hear back.

That was not the only voting issue in western Massachusetts Tuesday morning. There was a problem with the machine that accepts ballots at Agawam Junior High School in Feeding Hills.

Michael Mercadante, an election constable in Agawam told 22News, the voting machine had temporarily stopped counting ballots, after the power unit inside the machine failed.

Mercadante said the problem was fixed within 20 minutes. “One of the techs came, that’s overseeing these new machines, and they switched it over to battery power, and they’re running the battery charger to keep the battery charged,” he said.

Although the problem didn’t last long, Kathy Papadakis of Agawam told 22News, even small problems can be enough to give some voters anxiety. “You never know when you’re using electronics, but it did make me wonder when I saw it. He was putting the papers into the box, making sure they slid in correctly,” she said.

Residents were still allowed to vote while the machine was being repaired. Election workers put all of the ballots into a temporary box, then fed them into the machine once it started to work again.