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Kansas: Software problem slowed Johnson County vote counting on election night | The Kansas City Star

Software that malfunctioned and stalled vote tallying in Johnson County for more than three hours on election night was of the same brand that has been under scrutiny for years and has caused counting errors in other parts of the country. The Global Election Management System – or GEMS – was not the only cause of a breakdown on election night, but it was definitely one of the most frustrating, said county Election Commissioner Ronnie Metsker. Vote counters lost hours of time as they waited for help from a technical support person in Nebraska who they hoped could tell them why the system suddenly dropped 2,100 ballots from its database and how to get them back. When that help wasn’t forthcoming, the workers ended up re-scanning the paper ballots so they could be re-loaded into the database. In the end, election officials didn’t get their closing totals out until about 1:30 p.m. the next day, due to the computer breakdown and tidal waves of last-minute registrations and advance votes, Metsker said.

Full Article: A software problem was partly resxponsible for a lengthy delay in ballot coounting in Johnson County on election night. | The Kansas City Star.

Maryland: Officials insist new voting machines on track despite warnings | The Washington Post

Voters in Maryland will be casting their votes with black pens and paper ballots in the upcoming presidential primary, nearly a decade after lawmakers decided to get rid of touch-screen machines that leave no paper trail. The search for new equipment was mired in delays and setbacks before the state finally approved a $28 million contract last December. And even with the new ballots and scanners in hand, Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration has raised questions in recent weeks about whether the state is headed for disaster in its rush to get them up and running. Rockville and College Park deployed the new machines without trouble in their fall municipal elections, but the April 26 primary election will be the first statewide test of the new system. Voters will be casting ballots in the presidential primary and in heated races to nominate candidates to succeed Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) in the U.S. Senate and to fill two open congressional seats.

Full Article: Maryland officials insist new voting machines on track despite warnings - The Washington Post.

Mississippi: Lowndes County to buy new voting machine system | The Commercial Appeal

Lowndes County supervisors plan to seek bids to buy new voting machine system that scans paper ballots. Supervisors on Monday approved a request by county purchasing clerk Terry Thompson to solicit bids, The Commercial Dispatch newspaper reported. The equipment would replace a TSX electronic voting system that has been used since 2005 to process votes digitally. Mississippi received federal funding in 2005 for TSX systems as well as maintenance and technical support. County circuit clerk Haley Salazar said in September that money for support and upkeep will not be provided after this year and that going back to paper ballots would be more efficient for voters, poll workers and election commissioners.

Full Article: Lowndes County to buy new voting machine system » The Commercial Appeal.

Arizona: Elections catching up with technology: Changes piloted in November in Pima County | Tucson Citizen

Goodbye, unwieldy manual signature roster books. Hello, tablets. Under a pilot project being implemented by Pima County in the Nov. 5 Vail incorporation election, voters who go to the polls will be able to use a mobile computer that’s smaller than a laptop to sign for their ballots. … The polling places also will no longer use precinct-based scanning equipment. Instead, voters will drop their ballots into a secure box that is under observation at all times by poll workers and then securely transported to a central tabulating facility at the Elections Office located at 6550 S. Country Club Road. Independent observers will continue to oversee the process and results will be audited.

Full Article: Elections catching up with technology: Changes piloted in November - Pima County News.

Ohio: Tuscarawas County to buy 55 voting machines | The Times-Reporter

Before the year ends, the Tuscarawas County Board of Elections has to purchase 55 voting machines to be in compliance with state law. Monday the Tuscarawas County Commissioners approved more than $35,000 in transfers from various funds to cover the cost. Sarah Kneuss, the board’s deputy director, said the machines will be ready and available in 2014 in time for the  gubernatorial election. She said it isn’t necessary to have them in time for next week’s election. Kneuss said the county made big purchases in 2005, purchasing several electronic machines to be compliant with the law.  “We have to have one machine for every 175 registered voters in a precinct,” she explained.

Full Article: County to buy 55 voting machines - New Philadelphia, OH - The Times-Reporter.

Alaska: City Clerk’s Office Reviews Voting Problems |

The Anchorage city clerks office is calling the voter turn out in yesterday’s election “unprecedented.” The office is investigating the election, working today to figure out which voting precincts ran out of ballots. Voters reported widespread ballot shortages. Mayor Dan Sullivan was reelected by a wide margin. But his main challenger Paul Honeman, is not conceding given the voting irregularities. It’s Clerk Barbara Gruenstiens 9th time running Anchorgage Municipal Elections, and she says she’s never seen anything like what happened Tuesday.

“We heard that there was somebody spreading information that you could show up at any precinct and register to vote that day and vote that day and your vote would count, and that’s incorrect information.”

In fact, you had to register 30 days before voting day to have your vote count. That somebody who spread mis-information, according to multiple reports is Jim Minnery with the anti-proposition group, “Protect Your Rights.” Minnery sent out a last minute email urging unregistered voters to swamp polling places and vote against the Anchorage Equal Rights Initiative. Minnery says he got bad information from the municipal clerks office.

Full Article: City Clerks Office Reviews Voting Problems |

Ohio: Butler County OH gains from voting machine suit |

A three-year fight over Butler County’s faulty voting machines has come to an end. The board of elections is getting 400 free electronic poll books out of the agreement as well as seven years of maintenance and available upgrades to the tune of about $1.5 million, Prosecutor Michael Gmoser said Thursday.

“We wanted more and we got more,” he said.

Butler County last year rejected a state-wide settlement that the Secretary of State’s office negotiated with Premier Election Solutions for about 47 other counties that accepted software upgrades, discounted maintenance fees, cash payments and more of the same free voting equipment.

Full Article: Butler Co. gains from voting machine suit | |

Ohio: Butler County settles voting machine lawsuit | Middletown Journal

Butler County’s lawsuit with Diebold Inc. and Premier Election Systems regarding faulty voting machines has been settled with the board of elections receiving equipment and services worth $1.5 million, which Director Tom Ellis said will be a “boost in the arm for the voting experience.” The suit was over a glitch in the system during the March 2008 primary election that early caused 200 votes to go uncounted.

Provided to the county at no cost as part of the suit are 400 electronic poll books, bar scanners, signature pads, and printers supported by seven years of software and hardware maintenance. The equipment and on-going maintenance support will be provided by Election Systems & Software, Inc.

“The Butler County Board of Elections is very satisfied with the terms of the settlement and enthusiastic about the new relationship with an industry leader such as ES&S and the use of the company’s well-regarded Express 5000, electronic poll book,” Ellis said.

Full Article: County settles voting machine lawsuit.

Ohio: Elections meeting today on Butler County Ohio Diebold/Premier voting machine lawsuit | JournalNews

Butler County’s ongoing lawsuit over its Diebold voting machines is the topic of today’s special meeting of the Butler County Board of Elections. The county is seeking $5 million in damages, which is what it paid for the electronic voting machines, following a glitch in the system during the March 2008 primary election when more than 200 votes initially went uncounted.

The board will meet at 10:30 a.m. today at the elections office, 1802 Princeton Road, then move into executive session to discuss the lawsuit with Premier Election Solutions, which purchased Diebold.

Full Article: Elections meeting today on voting machine lawsuit.

Utah: Salt Lake County may need to buy new voting machines | The Salt Lake Tribune

Salt Lake County may have to come up with $10 million or more to keep elections running smoothly beyond 2015.

Elections Director Scott Konopasek announced Tuesday that the county’s voting machines may need to be swapped by then,meaning that the county would have to come up with the cash for about 3,000 replacements.

The projected tab: $10 million to $15 million.

Full Article: Salt Lake County may need to buy new voting machines | The Salt Lake Tribune.

Maryland: $3.41M Settlement with Premier Election Solutions Over Voting Machine Security Issues | Southern Maryland Headline News

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler on Wednesday announced the settlement of a claim against Premier Elections Solutions, formerly known as Diebold. The settlement, negotiated by the Office of Attorney General, will be worth more than $3 million to the State.

In 2008, the Attorney General, on behalf of the State Board of Elections, brought a claim against Diebold to recoup costs that the State incurred to remedy security issues that had arisen with the Diebold machines.

Full Article: BPW Approves $3.41M Settlement with Manufacturer Over Voting Machine Security Issues - Southern Maryland Headline News.