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Fayette County voters: 2 machines not enough

Frustrated by long lines, many Fayette County voters were shocked to discover Tuesday that their precinct only had two voting booths.

Edward Washington, 46, a Democrat who said he voted for Obama, saidhe waited in line for more than an hour at the Lexington Fire Headquarters on East Third Street after arriving about 6:15 a.m.

"To me, they were not prepared," Washington said.

Kitty Ware, an election coordinator in the Fayette County Clerk's office, said most precincts started with two machines. There were two precincts that have fewer than 100 voters, which only had one machine.

But there were 50 reserve machines ready to accommodate precincts if more voters showed up than expected. By Tuesday afternoon, half of the reserve machines had been sent out.

Most of the machines were for large crowds. But, Ware said, the reserve machines also replace broken ones.

"We have to hold back in case they go down," Ware said. "That really would be a mess."

Diane Kincaid, 43, also didn't expect the wait at her Wildwood precinct at Southern Elementary School. And she said she wondered why Fayette County didn't have other options, such as paper ballots, which are common as a backup in other counties.

"It's a presidential election," she said. "Come on; get ready."

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