Guzman warns of problems with Berks County voting machines

READING, May 17 — State Rep. Manny Guzman, D-Berks, urged voters to be patient and prepare for potential problems at the polls after he personally experienced substantial delay due to poll workers not being properly trained on Berks County’s new voting machines.

“When I went to cast my ballot today, what should have been a quick, simple process turned into a multi-hour ordeal,” said Guzman. “A simple mistake took more than an hour and the personal intervention of the county election director to fix. Workers were not trained on the new voting machines and the county provided no paper ballots to backup any potential problems - in fact ballots are only being distributed today, hours after the polls opened.”

“I’m not worried about me; I’m worried about the voter making time to be heard who has to get to work or has to get their kids to school. People don’t have time to throw away on dealing with the failures of the county election officials who didn’t make sure the poll workers knew how to operate the voting machines. The idea we might have people walk away from their right to be heard is unacceptable. It’s voter suppression through incompetence at the top.”

Guzman contacted the County Election Board, local election attorneys and the Department of State to mobilize every resource possible to get voters help to be heard.

“I want to be clear - the hard-working, underpaid poll workers did everything they could to solve the problem, and their dedication and professionalism is great. These people were hung out to dry, and the voters and Democracy are suffering.”

Guzman plans to call for public hearings and investigations to be sure the county is ready for November’s general election.