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GAB reports few problems during Tuesday's election

As Wisconsin voters spoke Tuesday, the state's election systems worked with relatively few problems, according to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board.

As Wisconsin voters spoke Tuesday, the state's election systems worked with relatively few problems, according to the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board.

"This was a relatively event-free election thanks to advance planning and the dedication of Wisconsin's local election officials, thousands of poll workers and millions of voters," said Kevin Kennedy, the state's chief election officer. "Preliminary returns indicate that nearly 50 percent of Wisconsin's voting-age population of 4.37 million people cast their votes, either in-person or by absentee ballot.

The GAB had predicted half the state's eligible voters would cast a ballot.

Reports from polling places Tuesday do indicate some problems with aging voting equipment, Kennedy said. "The optical scanners used to count paper ballots in approximately 90 percent of polling places, many of which have been in use since the early 1990s, are nearing the end of their useful life," he said.

At some polling places, voters needed help feeding the ballots into the scanners because of variations in the printing of the ballots. There were also some reports of voting machine malfunctions. But these were the exceptions. G.A.B. staff and local clerks stepped in to ensure all ballots were counted.

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"I consider it a successful election when most voters have a pleasant experience and remember its outcome rather than any issues at the polling place," Kennedy said. "Based on the feedback we have received and media reports, this was a successful election."

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