The extremely slow Macomb County election returns on Tuesday night are blamed, in part, by county officials on outdated technology. Despite mediocre voter turnout typical of a midterm election, many Macomb County voters went to bed on Election Night with no idea who had won the races in their community. Three of the county’s largest towns — Warren, Sterling Heights and Shelby Township –- kept voters in the dark until well after midnight. The lack of results also delayed an outcome in numerous races for the state Legislature and county Board of Commissioners that extend beyond the borders of those three municipalities. The county’s cities and townships rely upon election tabulators – the polling place machines that swallow up each voter’s ballot – which run on technology from 10 to 15 years ago. In addition, each voting precinct’s computerized results are transported by an analog line – a modem – to the county Clerk’s Office. The final step involves putting the election updates on the county’s heavily traveled election returns website.
While many smaller Macomb communities reported their election results before 10 p.m., Warren’s final returns came in at 1:13 a.m., Shelby Township’s results were not fully reported until 12:11 a.m., and Sterling Heights did not have all of their numbers available to the public until 3:25 a.m.
In Sterling Heights, where a majority of the city’s 45 precincts were still showing zero votes among absentee voters after midnight, Clerk Mark Carufel said he experienced only minor glitches. Two memory cards that store voting data failed, which prevented the city from reporting results from one precinct and from the seven absentee ballot precincts.
As a result, Carufel drove the unrecorded results – consisting of numbers on a roll of paper similar to an adding machine tape – to the county Clerk’s Office in downtown Mount Clemens at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. That data was manually inputted on the county website over the next two hours.
Full Article: Old technology blamed for drip-drip election results.