Early Voting Underway For Runoff Elections

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WASHINGTON COUNTY (KFSM) - Early voting for the only runoff election in Washington County started on Tuesday (Nov. 18), and election officials say the voting process has gone smoothly so far.

The runoff election for Fayetteville alderman Ward 1 is between Paul Phaneuf and incumbent Adella Gray.

There is only one early voting location for Washington County voters. It's at the County Clerk's Office on the third floor of the Washington County Courthouse.

Patricia Beland cast her ballot electronically on Wednesday (Nov. 19) at the courthouse and said the process was easy, adding "multiple things can go wrong electronically, but I still think it makes more sense than chopping down trees to make paper."

Earlier this month during early voting for the general election the electronic voting machines did not list each candidate’s party affiliation.

Officials said the issue was an electronic coding mistake. Pre-tests conducted before early voting showed the machines recognized candidates’ correct party affiliations. Officials later found out the machines knew the candidates’ parties, but the affiliation did not show on the screen voters saw.

The software glitch in the electronic voting machines has been fixed, said Jennifer Price, Washington County Election Coordinator.

"The first day of early voting went very smoothly and we didn't have any problems," she said. "There's no issues with the ballots, touchscreens or anything like that. Election night will work for us the way it should work."

Early voting for the runoff race ends on Nov. 24 at 4:30 p.m.

Seven polling locations will be open on Election Day in Washington County. Polls will be open on Nov. 25 from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.