FORT SMITH (KFSM) – Some voters in Fort Smith said they’re upset after some confusion at a Fort Smith polling site this morning.
Voters said they arrived at Temple Baptist Church on South 31st to find the front doors locked.
Violet Adams said she arrived at the church 10 minutes early so she could vote right away at 7:30 a.m. However, she said the doors were locked and the church appeared empty when she arrived. She said she and several other voters waited at the front door until the poll workers showed up around 8 a.m. to let them in.
“It was a really big inconvenience,” Adams said. “I had to call my supervisor to tell her I was going to be late because I was out trying to vote this morning.”
Adams said the poll workers did not open the front doors of the church until after 8 a.m. Once they were open, she went inside and was able to cast her ballot right away.
Poll workers on site said they had only opened the back door to the church. They said they were on site at 6:15 a.m. as planned, but had just only opened the one door, which is why voters were confused and locked out.
“We have a handicapped access and an access towards the back, many of our people went to the handicapped access,” said volunteer Lynn Vonderheide. “Our handicapped people know exactly where to go but the voters came to the door that was locked.”
Vonderheide said that voters just simply went to the wrong door.
Once they realized where the voters had lined up, poll workers said they then unlocked the front doors of the church. Several voters then went inside to cast their ballots.
The poll workers did apologize to voters for the confusion and inconvenience, Adams said.