Minot has work to do before the November election. A lot of work.
There was much confusion among voters at the city's four polling locations Tuesday, with some reports of voters waiting in line for up to an hour. We've also heard first-hand accounts of residents leaving polling places without voting after encountering long lines. That's unacceptable.
Minot recently modified its voting system, reducing the number of polling locations to four. That created long lines of voters, who were lucky the election day weather was nice as some lines stretched outside polling places. The Calvary Alliance Church in northwest Minot proved to be a difficult polling location because of its limited parking and residential setting. The city should consider switching to a larger venue for northwest residents if it sticks with the four location plan.
The city also split some wards into different legislative districts, which led to some confusion when voters had to use specific scanning machines. This year's changes contributed to some long waits for voters, and to an even longer wait Tuesday night for some local vote totals, most notably the results from the Maysa Arena voting site.
We realize there's a learning curve with changes like this, but if Minot plans to continue to use only four polling locations, changes must be made to make the system more friendly to voters. The turnout for the November general election will be much larger than for the primary, which means Tuesday's problems will be significantly magnified if they are not properly addressed in the next few months. We hope necessary changes are already in the works.