Faulty software code was to blame for an overnight delay in Johnson County’s primary election night results, an embarrassing ordeal that kept people across the country waiting for the outcome to several high-profile Kansas races. “The slow reporting of results was unacceptable and we apologize,” Tom Burt, president and CEO of Election Systems & Software, said in a statement Monday. “We know the election office and other Johnson County government leaders put their faith in us and we let down our valued partners.” Burt went on to say that the Omaha-based company, the county’s elections vendor, has rewritten the portion of the code that caused the delay and initial tests of that new code were successful. He said testing will continue so the new software can be certified prior to the general election. … “The big issue apparently is that they didn’t test this system at scale,” said Duncan Buell, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of South Carolina, who has studied that state’s election results extensively. “You need to test for all possible scenarios.”
… Susan Greenhalgh, policy director with the National Election Defense Coalition, suggested Johnson County would be better off with paper ballot machines, rather than with its new touchscreen machines that have a voter verified paper ballot backup for tabulation. Both Greenhalgh and Buell said paper ballot systems are two to three times less expensive than electronic machines and are more efficient and secure.
“The problems that Johnson County experienced, both the long lines and the slow results uploads, could both be easily solved by using voter-marked paper ballots and scanners.
“ES&S individual scanners are used across the country without the upload issue of the ExpressVote scanners,” Greenhalgh said. “That Johnson County would not entertain the thought of returning the ExpressVotes and just getting tried-and-true scanners before the midterms is baffling. We know there will be high scrutiny of these elections, and their system is faulty. This makes no sense.”