Several electronic voting machines at different locations across the county broke down, increasing demand for paper ballots, and within the first few hours of election day, the county ran out of paper.
Election workers at precinct 27 in Bella Vista said two of the five electronic machines went down, tripling the size of the lines. The site started with more than 100 paper ballots, but they quickly ran out and the long wait prompted some voters to leave.
Eventually, the election commission brought 18 extra ballots, which did little to ease the congestion.
Sheriff Reece Simril said, "Some people, and I appreciate this , declined to use the paper ballot, so others could take them, and they just continued to stand in line."
But voter Matt Blaty still thinks there should have been more paper ballots, "I know we're into computers nowadays, and a lot of things digital electronics but still you'd think they'd have plenty of paper."
The Election Commission says they distributed 18,000 paper ballots to start, much more than in past elections, but the demand is also much greater this year. The Chairman of the Election Commission actually drove down to fort smith to pick up 3300 blanks, and says the commission is printing and distributing the ballots as quickly as they can.