by Max Brantley
I voted this morning in the mayoral powers election. The ESS vote-counting machine in my precinct wasn't working. Poll workers said the machine in at least one other poll was malfunctioning.
A West Little Rock voter complains that he was the 19th voter to sign up at his polling place and after he inserted his ballot in the counter it registered 17.
UPDATE: Election Commission reports that the machine glitches have been fixed. That counter? Could be explained by provisional ballots that didn't go through the counter or a vote cast on the computer voting machine available at each precinct for the disabled. (Further update: Election Commissoin insists the voter and his machine number meshed.) I did learn this: a couple of polls are being conducted in un-airconditioned locations today. Whew.
But never mind all that. Will this measure pass? Signs of outward enthusiasm are lacking. And I'm hearing here some complaints about the campaign to pass the measure. We need a stronger mayor for economic development? Didn't we just land a couple of the biggest industrial locations in city history? And what's this about how the mail campaign targeted select neighborhoods? And there's rumbling about Mayor Mark Stodola's lack of commitment to work solely as mayor should the measure pass. The unhappiness in black neighborhoods was already well known, along with the general cynicism about city government. Does all this add up to defeat? I can't read this one.
UPDATE II: A downtown voter noted an apparent drive-to-the-polls service by the Vote No campaign. Voter delivered in a car bearing a placard against the measures.