RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Just before 9 p.m. a poll volunteer at Puesta del Sol Elementary, one of five voting convenience centers in Rio Rancho, estimates it could take up to three hours for all the voters remaining in line to cast their ballots.
He said all the voters were now inside, packing the school cafeteria and an adjoining room.
Voters are reporting long waits — as long as 3 hours — at the convenience centers in Rio Rancho. Long lines were evident at Rio Rancho City Hall and Puesta del Sol Elementary.
Poll workers say they don’t have enough printers to handle the demand, which is slowing the process. Turnout appears to be heavy. For Sandoval County Voting Location, click here.
At 3 p.m., people were waiting in line at the University of New Mexico’s Student Union Building for an average of 74 minutes to cast ballots.
County spokeswoman Liz Hamm said the voter center there has limited space, making it impossible to bring in additional voting equipment. Election workers there were encouraging people who didn’t want to wait that long at UNM to vote a Jefferson Middle School, 712 Girard NE.
As of 2 p.m., 44,009 ballots had been cast, Hamm said.
Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver said at noon Tuesday that voting was moving along well at the county’s 69 voting centers, with only a handful of issues arising.
“We always experience routine issues like machines going down and things like that. But all of our sites were open at 7 (a.m.), all of our sites are processing voters,” she said. “We had a handful of sites that had printer problems that we got resolved really quickly. Some sites are experiencing heavier turnout than other sites.”
Toulouse Oliver said the longest reported wait was at Cibola High School on Tuesday morning, where some voters waited up to 50 minutes to cast ballots. The delay, she said, was due to heavy turnout at the westside school.
Kennedy Middle School and Sandia High School had brief problems with tabulators, she said, but the machines were quickly replaced or repaired.
Based on early voting numbers, Toulouse Oliver was projecting a voter turnout of 60 percent of the county’s 430,119 registered voters — or roughly 13 percent lighter than what the county experienced in the 2008 general elections.
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