State election officials said Pueblo County would have had to test the county’s election system with 50,000-60,000 test ballots to discover the limited data base on the Dominion Express system that filled up on Election Day, causing days of delay in getting final results. Dwight Shellman, county support manager for the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office, said the limited data base was not mentioned in any of the vendor’s documentation about the Microsoft SQL Express system and that neither state or county officials were aware of it — until the computer server stopped working on Election Day. “We approved that purchase, but if we’d known its limitations, we wouldn’t have,” Shellman said Tuesday. Both Secretary of State Wayne Williams and County Clerk Gilbert “Bo” Ortiz have explained how the vendor — Dominion Voting Systems — rushed a much bigger server to the county last Tuesday to remedy the logjam in counting more than 80,000 votes.
Shellman said the state certified the Dominion system that Ortiz bought for this year’s election. It operated fine during the small June primary election, but the general election ballot was four pages long and the electronic counting system stores an image of every page of a ballot.
County election officials are required to “stress test” their voting systems prior to each election while Democratic and Republican election watchers observe the testing. Shellman said that was done and Pueblo County used more than 7,000 test ballots — far more than required but not enough to signal the underlying limits of the counting software. “(Bo) would have had to run 50,000-60,000 ballots through the system to run up against its limitations,” he said.
Ortiz said the description on the computer server implied “virtually endless” data storage, but the software didn’t allow that. The data base filled at 10.5 GB.