Machines malfunctioning

Sam Wood reports:

10:20 a.m.

Readers and Inquirer reporters attempting to cast ballots this morning found long lines across the region created by broken machines.

One of two machines was down at a busy Delaware County polling site.  About 50 people already had voted by 9:15 a.m. at the Temple Israel on Spruce and Bywood Avenue in Upper Darby, which is heavily populated by immigrant and first time voters. Many of those freshly-minted voters had difficulties using the one machine that still functioned. "Hell of a day for one of the machines to be down," said one poll worker.

 In South Philadelphia, both voting machines were broken at 4th and Ritner, smack dab in the middle of a John Dougherty strong hold. "The dirty tricks have begun," said Frank Keel, spokesman for the Dougherty campaign, who sees a conspiracy. "Democratic State Rep. candidate Christian DiCicco is the poll watcher," Keel said. "Coincidence? We don't think so."

One reader wrote: I got to my polling place before 7 a.m.; 2nd ward, 27th division: as the polls were opening, one of two machines for my division was malfunctioning: electrical problem.  Hmmmm....isn't Dougherty an electrician?     

In the city's Spring Garden section, home to State Sen. Vincent Fumo, both machines were down at St. Andrews Lithuananian Church at 19th and Wallace. Voters grumbled when they learned their provisional ballots would not be counted tonight.

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