Turn-out in some of Iowa’s urban counties appears “heavy” according to a top state election official.

Charlie Krogmeier, deputy Secretary of State, has talked to county auditors in Johnson County — the Iowa City area, Scott County — the Davenport area, Black Hawk County — the Waterloo area, and Woodbury County — the Sioux City area. “There seems to be pretty heavy turn-out,” Krogmeier says.

But he cautions it will not equal or eclipse the turn-out in 2004, but is similar to 2002 — a so-called “mid-term” election when the presidential race is not on the ballot.
“In 2002, I think we had about 56 percent of the registered voters turn out,” Krogmeier says. “At least so far, we’re tracking maybe to be a little bit higher than that.”

As for problems at the polling places, Radio Iowa reported earlier today about a programming glitch in Butler County for voters who cast a “straight party” ticket — voting for all the Republicans or all the Democrats on the ballot. The machines would tell voters they haven’t voted in 13 different races — a message pops up saying they have “undervoted.” But the votes are tabulated correctly, according to Butler County’s Auditor.

Krogmeier says there was a different kind of computer problem early this morning in Pocahontas County. “There’s a tape called the zero tape. It’s what they generate when they start the machine up to show all of the memory inside is zero — that there’s nothing entered on that machine. That’s the first thing they do when they start the machine up. They couldn’t get that to function properly in Pocahontas (County) in three of their precincts. Turned out it was they didn’t have the tape in properly or they didn’t have the door on the little tape-generating area locked properly,” Krogmeier says. “Once they discovered that, they were able to correct that and get it going, so nothing major. Just those small kind of things.”