A report from the vendor of the elections system used by Cochise County during the Aug. 26 Primary Election indicates that the issues surrounding incorrect ballot data being sent to the state on election night was the result of a procedural error at the local elections office. The report from Elections Systems & Software explains that the incoming results from a number of precincts throughout election night were aggregated incorrectly by the county elections staff selecting the wrong option on the system. This resulted in already tabulated election results being added multiple times to the aggregate total for those precincts. County officials received the report on Thursday, Sept. 4. Elections staff reviewed the report individually before holding a meeting by telephone with ES&S personnel on Monday, Sept. 8.
That same day, elections staff were able to pinpoint the aggregation errors to one elections official, former director of the elections office, Juanita Murray, said County Administrator Mike Ortega.
Murray was removed from the position of director prior to the primary elections due to an mistake she made in providing incorrect information to unaffiliated potential candidates for public office. On Tuesday, Sept. 2, Murray tendered her resignation with the county.
Ortega said that the elections system used in August was not a new system, but he could not say for how long the elections office had been using it.