Candidates in this year’s Primary Election were left waiting for results from 1,500 mail-in absentee ballots, well in to the early morning hours on Wednesday. Election officials blame a computer communication error for the delay. Absentee by mail ballots come from all over the county from folks who knew ahead of time they could not vote in person in the 2012 primary. To count them, they must be imported in to a computer using an optimal scan unit. That computer is supposed to “talk” to another computer that then totals the results. When it became clear the machines weren’t communicating with each other, officials were forced to re-scan all 1,500 ballots.
“I think it was communicating the information but it timed out before it could communicate all of the information,” said Elections Director Nancy Boren. “Well all of the equipment is tested prior to Election Day. We test tabulating, we test running the ballots through the absentee. It’s just that perfect storm of election night and the perfect storm of the timing out of the Jims computer that happened last night,” added Boren.