This story was updated at 9:19 p.m. Nov. 6, 2012.
By late Tuesday, Prince George’s County election officials said the only mishaps that had occurred were one malfunctioning printer and a problem with voters being timed out of the voting booth if they take too long.
Alisha Alexander, elections administrator for Prince George’s County, said that the electronic voting machines will alert the voter that it is about to time out after about two-and-a-half minutes of inactivity and will lock the voter out, forcing them to start over.
Alexander said thus far that hasn’t been a large-scale problem at stations.
At around 10:30 a.m., a line of voters stretched down a hallway and out the door at Thomas Stone Elementary School in Mount Rainier. Despite the line, most people were getting through the process quickly, said Drake Ford, chief election judge at the school.
Marketta Nelson, who was a few people away from getting to a voting booth at the school, said she had been in line waiting for an hour-and-a-half earlier in the morning, but decided to go back home and get a sweater due to the cold weather. She said the line took about a half-hour when she returned.
“Things have run OK,” she said. “It has just been cold.”
Ford said she had not had any problems with voting machines timing out on voters, but the high number of ballot questions — seven statewide ballot questions and seven local ballot questions — and candidates seeking office is proving to be a challenge for voters at a Hyattsville polling site.
There were about 10 instances of voters taking too long at the voting station, causing the machine to ask them to start over, said Arthur Tanner chief election judge at Langley Park-McCormick Elementary School in Hyattsville.
”Other than that, we are handling all our issues,” he said.
Larry Crandall, a chief election judge at the Bladensburg Community Center, said that he had told other election staff to look out for voters at their booth who seemed to be confused or were not pushing any buttons, so that they could catch those that might get timed out by the computer. So far, voters had no problems with being timed-out of the system, he said.
Bladensburg resident Monica Timms, 40, who voted at the community center, said there were no obstacles in her way as she voted.
“It was pretty quick and easy,” she said.
At the Ritchie Auditorium at the University of Maryland, College Park, chief election judge Charisma Wooten said there had been no problems with voters being timed out of the computers at the polling site. Around 400 people had come in to vote by around 2 p.m., she said.
Elections officials at Thomas Stone have focused on the many elderly voters that had registered to vote at the school.
She said officials there have allowed elderly voters to wait inside the building rather than stay outside in the cold weather. An election official will hold their place in line as they wait, and two elections officials will help the elderly person if they need assistance with reading the candidates’ names or ballot questions, she said.
Mary Hughes, 81, said election staff allowed her to wait inside and were very helpful.
“They were very cordial in bringing me in here,” Hughes said, who uses a powered wheelchair. “The ladies were very nice.”