Voting Glitches Mar Election (FL)
Tampa Bay Online. November 5, 2008. By CHRISTIAN M. WADE
TAMPA - With computer glitches delaying Hillsborough County's voting results by hours, election supervisor Buddy Johnson was hanging on to his job Tuesday night by a slim margin.
Results were delayed almost from the very beginning. Students at the University of South Florida were still in line to vote at 10:30 p.m., and elections officials said computer problems were causing delays.
"This is appalling," said Phyllis Busansky, Johnson's Democratic challenger. She said late Tuesday she remained hopeful, even though she was trailing slightly.
Johnson, 56, attributed the delays to problems with the $6 million elections system purchased from Premier Election Solutions. Among the problems: elections officials had to break up early voting results into smaller pieces to prevent crashing the computer system, and about 150 optical scanners had trouble transmitting results and had to be manually taken to the elections office.
Still, Johnson said, his office overcame the problems.
"This is one of the most beautiful days in elections in Hillsborough County I have seen," he said.
Heavy turnout and last-minute address changes caused the problems at USF, election officials said.
Busansky had based much of her campaign on problems at the election office during Johnson's tenure.
Reporters John W. Allman and Kathy Steele contributed to this report.