Prince William County is on track with plans to replace its aging, touch-screen voting machines with a new system that uses paper ballots, election officials said Tuesday in a presentation to the Board of County Supervisors. The conversion to a paper ballot system is one of several measures the elections office is taking to reduce waiting times for voters, including investing in new technology to speed up the voter check-in process, officials said. Residents in some Prince William precincts have faced long lines in recent elections, such as in 2012, when voters at River Oaks Elementary School in Woodbridge had to wait for as long as four hours. Interim General Registrar Rokey Suleman said that Election Day backups typically occur at two “choke points” — during check-in and at the voting machines. “If you have four machines, you can only have four people voting at a time,” Suleman said.Full Article: Prince William converting to paper ballots for elections - The Washington Post.
election management software
The person responsible for a human foible that turned the 6th Commission District results upside down during Tuesday’s Republican primary has claimed full responsibility and absolved the Washington County Election Commission from any wrongdoing. Indianapolis-based MicroVote General Corp. President Jim Ries confirmed in a news release Thursday that an employee error resulted in an inaccurate vote total posted on the Washington County Election Commission website. “Official voting tallies were unaffected by this website posting error, which was unrelated to the official counting of ballots,” Ries said. “We have identified the reason that the website posting error occurred and are putting into place steps to insure that such an error does not occur in the future.” The person directly responsible for the gaffe is Bill Whitehead, MicroVote’s Tennessee project manager. Whitehead emailed Washington County Administrator of Elections Maybell Stewart on Wednesday night to say an exact explanation of what happened was forthcoming. “Not to imply that your local media would misinterpret any information, but we are always cautiously guarded about what the press will receive, as in many cases they are spin doctors and we want to protect you and everyone involved in this process from a misinterpretation,” Whitehead told Stewart.Full Article: MicroVote exec assumes blame for election gaffe | Johnson City Press.
In elections this March in Palm Beach County, Fla., an election management software glitch gave votes to the wrong candidate and the wrong contest. But paper ballots were available, and a recount was done. The mistake was corrected. Such failures are hardly unique. And often they are worse. In every national election in the past decade, computer voting systems have failed with memory-card glitches and other errors that resulted in votes lost or miscounted, according to a new national study, “Counting Votes 2012: A State by State Look at Voting Technology Preparedness.” More than 300 voting-machine problems were reported in the 2010 midterm elections and more than 1,800 in the 2008 general election, according to the study by Common Cause, Rutgers School of Law, and the Verified Voting Foundation. “Voting systems frequently fail,” the study concludes. “And when they fail, votes are lost. Voters in jurisdictions without paper ballots or records for every vote cast, including military and overseas votes, do not have the same protections as states that use paper ballot systems. This is not acceptable.”Is your vote secure? Many digital systems lack paper backups, study says. - CSMonitor.com.
The unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary election are in, again, and there are no official winners, yet, but the numbers all match up, unofficially. The computer problems that shut down the counting of votes were solved the next day when a consultant from Elections, Systems & Software, the software provider for the county’s election board, suggested the board should just start over. And that is just what it did.
… The number of voters matched the number of voters recorded on the paper records that poll workers keep at each polling place, McCabe said. And there were no surprises or recall of winners with Wednesday’s tabulations, now unofficially being reviewed by the Sussex County Clerk’s Office, which must confirm the totals before they become official.
The one thing that was officially confirmed Tuesday is that the county has a glitch in the election process, and no one knows what causes it.Full Article: New Jersey Herald.
New York: New software to help avoid ballot-printing errors in Jefferson County New York | Watertown Daily Times
A new software system will help the Jefferson County Board of Elections avoid costly errors in printing ballots.
The E-Suite Election Management Software will enable the board to link incoming election candidate petitions to the voter-registrant database. That ensures the candidate’s name and address will be spelled correctly and limits human error. A misspelled name that forces a ballot reprinting could cost the county thousands of dollars, Republican Elections Commissioner Jerry O. Eaton said.Full Article: Watertown Daily Times | New software to help avoid ballot-printing errors.