Catastrophic. Marcia Moore summed up Tuesday’s election in one word. Sitting in the basement of the Hancock County Courthouse Annex on election night, the county clerk shook her head in disgust. Software glitches. Equipment failures. More than 2,000 ballots with errors. Sixteen local contests were left in limbo Tuesday night after election workers learned late in the day that a software error caused entire races to be left off voters’ ballots at five of the county’s 12 polling sites, Moore said. And there’s no way to identify or alert the 2,012 voters who didn’t have a say in those races — a fact Hancock County attorney Ray Richardson said will likely trigger a special election to start the process over. … The software error was one of a number of problems that plagued the local election, Moore said.
Voting was delayed at several polling sites early Tuesday after a software update from the county’s voting equipment vendor — Election Systems & Software — failed to load. The system was unable to immediately locate voter information, which caused delays, but voters were able to cast provisional ballots as the election office continued to troubleshoot the problem.
Later, hardware problems at the courthouse annex, where votes are tallied, temporarily brought processing ballots to a halt, Moore said. “Our software company failed miserably from the very beginning of the day,” said Moore on Tuesday night, sitting beside Election Systems & Software representative Jeremy Burton, who declined to comment.