Officials attempt to sort blame for Tuesday's voting delay in Sandoval County

Posted at: 11/07/2012 12:34 PM
Updated at: 11/07/2012 1:17 PM
By: Adam Camp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Thousands of voters in Rio Rancho were backed up for up to five hours on Tuesday,  Election Day.

According to the Sandoval County Clerks Office, a lack of machines was the problem. Voting machines printed ballots to voters before they filled the ballots out.

Sandoval County said they requested for five machines at each of the five stations in Rio Rancho.

But the Secretary of State's Chief of Staff sent KOB Eyewitness News 4 an email Wednesday morning that was sent by Eddie Gutierrez of the election bureau in Sandoval county.

He requests three machines for all of the stations in Rio Rancho.

When asked to clarify their original response from Sandoval County, spokesman Sidney Hill  said Gutierrez requested the five machines over the phone, not email.

Hill said the county understood the frustration of voters on Tuesday.

"We want to make sure that people are able to exercise their right to vote, and it shouldn't be difficult for people to do that," Hill said.

The county said the state would only give three machines because of budget issues.

"That was the same number that was used in the primary election. The primary went well because there was a much lower turnout," Hill said.

The county does plan to reevaluate the amount of voting centers it has for future elections. It will try to expand from five centers to help with the growing population in Rio Rancho.

But Hill was also quick to mention another option for voters.

"Early voting is an option. And early voting went on for close to 30 days before this election," he said.