Record Early Voting Turnout Causes Problem in Kingsport

Kingsport, Tenn. (AP) -- Early voting turnout has been heavy across the state, but the record number created a temporary problem in one county.

Electronic voting machines at one location in Kingsport were shut down for an hour Wednesday after they were unable to hold anymore ballots.

Sullivan County Administrator of Elections Gena Frye said voting machines at Kingsport's Civic Auditorium can only handle data for 10,000 ballots.

That number was surpassed Wednesday afternoon during the heaviest day of early voter turnout in the county.

Frye said the polls were closed for only an hour while they were reprogrammed to hold more ballots.

More than 21,000 thousand Sullivan County residents have already voted.

Most of those votes were cast at the Civic Auditorium, causing the machines to fill up quickly.

However, Frye said voters shouldn't be worried come Election Day on November seventh. The problem shouldn't come up again because no precinct in the county has 10,000 registered voters.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.