Missouri officials say they are working to resolve a problem that has prevented local election workers from accessing the statewide voter registration computer system.
Local election officials said they have been unable to access the information most of the day.
As a result, election workers in Kansas City are doing time-consuming manual searches to answer registration questions.
“We’re doing it the old-fashioned way,” said Shelley McThomas, a Kansas City election commissioner.
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When voters have questions about where to vote or if their names do not show up on records at the polls, election workers since 2006 have had instant access to registration information through the statewide computer system.
With today’s problem, local authorities have to check paper records and poll maps to verify information. But those records may not be as up-to-date as the computerized records, she said.
The system has been down since about 7:15 a.m., according to McThomas.
In Clay County, Election Commissioner Dave Reinhart said the state computer system has worked sporadically throughout the morning. He said the computer information had been backed up on staff BlackBerrys, but that information is only as current as it was when it was downloaded.
As a result, Reinhart said he expected that more provisional ballots likely will be cast on Tuesday.
According to the Missouri Secretary of State’s website the statewide voter registration database _ the Missouri Centralized Voter Registration system _ automatically compares the information of each new registrant against state and federal databases to confirm the identity of the voter.
Laura Egerdal of the secretary of state’s office said the problem appears to be a connectivity issue and the database itself has not been affected.
She also said that the problem does not affect any other aspect of administering the election, such as tallying vote totals.
Voters who have questions about where they are supposed to vote can call 1-800-NOW-VOTE (669-8683), according to Egerdal. The secretary of state also has a partnership with Google Maps that can help people look up their polling places by going to maps.google.com/vote.