Supervisor of Elections Shonda Carter was working in her office doing election updates at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 31, preparing for Tuesday’s upcoming election. She left for a while for dinner, and everything was fine when she left.
“When I returned at 9:30 that evening, the office was flooded. Something must have broken in the water fountain on the wall,” Carter said. “Water was everywhere.”
She notified interim county manager Hayden Rozier, the commissioners, and the police. Among those who responded were Hayden Rozier, County Commissioner Sarah Boatright, Election Board members Roger Cain and Samantha Craven, and members of Carter’s staff. Each commissioner appoints one person to this Election Board. They moved the voting equipment into U-Haul trucks and took them to her house where the machines were kept all night. She personally sealed each voting machine before it was loaded onto the trucks for transport. Carter states that she moved them there so she could keep her eye on them the whole weekend and that only she had keys to the trucks; they were watched all night as well.
No absentee ballots were moved; they remained locked in their secure location at the election office and were in no danger of being damaged by the water.
On Monday morning, the police arrived at her house to ascertain that the trucks were still secure. They found that nothing had been tampered with, and the machines were delivered to the various precincts on Monday morning around 9:00 a.m. The main component of the voting equipment never left the office. Without that component, the machines will not operate. Carter says the county and city are ready for the election on Tuesday. As for the water fountain, it has been turned off permanently.