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Snoozing staff delay vote in Akita, Gifu

JIJI

The start of voting Sunday was delayed in the cities of Akita and Gifu as the custodians of the ballot slips overslept for the House of Representatives election.

About 10 voters in Akita and two in Gifu went home without casting ballots after waiting fruitlessly at the polling stations.

According to the Akita election management committee, a city employee in his 40s failed to report to his polling station by the designated time of 6:30 a.m. and did not respond to calls on his mobile phone.

A staffer from the polling station visited his home and took the electoral roll and 5,700 ballot slips in his custody.

At 7 a.m., when the station was supposed to open, nearly 30 voters were waiting. But only 17 were able to cast ballots because the incident caused a 15-minute delay.

Voting at a polling station in Gifu was delayed 27 minutes after a 49-year-old city employee who had custody of the electoral roll and 4,500 ballot slips also overslept.

By the time voting began, two of three voters who were waiting had already left.