The complaining on social media began almost as soon as the polls in Washington, D.C. closed at 8 p.m. on the April 1 primary. Where were the first results? Why haven’t we heard anything? While certainly the 8 p.m. naysayers could be dismissed for their short attention spans and need for instant gratification, when 9 p.m. came and went with no results, not even those from early voting, even calmer heads started to wonder: Again? Why are there no results? Whoever was running the D.C. Board of Elections’ Twitter page was doing their best to keep people informed, but by 9:30 the Twitterati and local media were having none of it. Finally at 9:55 p.m. the first results began to trickle in, but there were discrepancies in the numbers between what reporters were given and what was appearing on the DCBOE’s website. It was near 2 a.m. before the final votes were tallied in an election that had the lowest election turnout in 30 years. … In D.C. there are not just two different voting systems but multiple electronic systems. Poll workers had to go through a complex-sounding process to transfer the results from one DRE to the other so that all the votes in the precinct were reported together. “When you have two systems, you have more shutting down and more reconciling to do. You have more checks to do and more checklists to check,” said Dana Chisnell with the Center for Civic Design. “You also have to reconcile *between* the systems, so it wouldn’t be surprising to me if there was confusion around that.” … Of course there are benefits to having the dual system. Pam Smith with Verified Voting noted having a dual system like D.C. does means that there is always a back-up available should there be problems during the day. However, on election night and in the days that followed, it wasn’t just the late results that had people concerned, it was the conflicting reports from elections officials about what happened and when.
… Smith said that it’s also important to manage expectations as well because there will be problems. “This is where transparency comes in and is really important,” Smith said. “We really encourage people to open up the process to observation as much as possible because it’s helpful for transparency. The more people understand about the system and how it works, the more transparent it is.”
Full Article: electionlineWeekly.