Fraud? No, spider delays town’s vote count

REHOBOTH, Mass. — It wasn’t hanging chads or voter fraud that delayed the vote count in one Massachusetts town — it was a spider.

Rehoboth town Clerk Kathleen Conti says one of the town’s aging voting machines malfunctioned Tuesday morning.

She called a technician, who said a spider web apparently prevented the machine’s scanner from counting ballots. Conti tells The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro all Rehoboth’s voting machines received preventive maintenance a month ago.

The vote count wasn’t completed until Wednesday afternoon.

Rehoboth voters favored Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney and incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, but went for Democratic U.S. House candidate Joseph Kennedy III.

Rehoboth, with about 12,000 residents, is about 50 miles southwest of Boston.

Conti says she has been pressing to have the machines replaced for several years.

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