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Voters Wait In Line For Over Hour After State Computerized Voting System Down When Philly Satellite Election Centers Opened

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- If you'd like to cast your vote early for the presidential election, you can now do so in Philadelphia. Seven satellite election offices opened Tuesday in the city, but there were some early issues.

Today was the first day for voters in Philadelphia to start dropping off their mail-in ballots in person. The hope is these satellite centers will make it even easier for those voters who are a bit confused about where to go or how to vote.

Excitement was in the air at the Liacouras Center as the first person dropped off their mail-in ballot, but there were a few hiccups on the first day.

The state computerized voting system was down when the satellite centers first opened, leaving some people on line for over an hour-and-a-half.

"We had two issues: people unable to log in and then connecting to the printers over the same network," Deputy Commissioner Nick Custodio said.

By the time the computers kicked in, folks were happy to get their votes in.

"It was real easy," said voter Thomas Thompson. "I had a couple people helping me out."

A critical part of the mail-in ballot is the secrecy envelope. Your vote will not be counted if it's not included in the envelope.

"So you voted on this ballot, you wanna make sure that this voted ballot goes into the secrecy envelope and then the secrecy envelope goes into the declaration envelope," City Commissioner Lisa Deeley explained.

The satellite centers are here to make things easier for voters.

Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez filled out and dropped her ballot off for the 2020 presidential election at the first bilingual satellite voting site at Burgos Elementary School in North Philadelphia.

"Here you can come verify you're registered at the correct address, or register, request a ballot, vote the ballot, take it with you if you want to stick it in the mail or vote right there and leave it and ensure the integrity of your vote," Quinones-Sanchez said.

City commissioners say they continue working with the state to ensure the system is up and running for the voters of Philadelphia.

Most of the centers were operational by this afternoon.

As of today, there are seven satellite centers. Within the next few weeks, there will be a total of ten, in addition to hundreds of polling sites across the city.

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