Tuesday, November 04, 2008

BREAKING: Power Out at Lexington/Marshall St. Paul

My son just called from Central High School in St. Paul. A truck hit a power poll and he stated that power was out for a three block radius. This MAY include the nearby Dunning Rec Center Polling Location (W-1, P-2).

Regardless it will create traffic issues at the Lights on Lex and Marshall.

More news as I get it.


UPDATE: From a SPIF follow up:
Ramsey County election official Charlie Thompson said they know of two polling locations affected by the power outage in St. Paul: Maxfield School and Dunning Rec Center.

Thompson says voters should continue to go to those polling locations to cast their ballot, which will be placed in the machines' emergency ballot holders. If those fill up the ballots will be removed and placed will put in banker's box and sealed. Once power is restored, judges will feed ballots through the machine and the process will be monitored by a representative from each party.
Earlier this morning, two polling places in St. Paul were hit by a power outage stemming from a traffic accident.

Around 8:25 a.m., a truck hit hit a power pole near Lexington Parkway and Concordia Avenue and knocked out power to 1,644 customers, said Xcel spokeswoman Patty Nystuen. Those affected included polling places at Maxfield Magnet Elementary School and Dunning Recreation Center in St. Paul.

Power was out for about 90 minutes at Dunning Recreation Center but did not adversely affect voting, said Patrick Dempsey, head election judge for Ward 1, Precinct 2. Voters' ballots were held in a security slot on the ballot box until power was restored, Dempsey said. Once power came back, two election judges from different parties fed the ballots through.

Dempsey estimated that 350 to 400 people voted during the outage. Some natural light streamed through the windows during the outage.

"I'm sure there was some trouble seeing, but all in all, we were able to weather the storm," Dempsey said.

Power was out at Maxfield Elementary School for 10 to 15 minutes, said Shamiere Bridgeford, head election judge for Ward 1, Precinct 5.

After the outage, there was complete darkness in the gym for 30 to 45 seconds before the emergency lights kicked in, Bridgeford said. The ballot counter, which uses battery power, was charged so election workers didn't have to go to a backup plan, she said.

There were no windows in the Maxfield gym, so Bridgeford brought in an extra election judge and gave the judge a flashlight in case they needed more visibility. Had the outage lasted more than 30 minutes, Bridgeford planned to move the ballot box to an outside hallway to get natural light or put the ballots in the security slot on the ballot box.

Voting wasn't affected during the outage, Bridgeford said. Power was restored just after 9:30 a.m.

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