Voting glitch in Rockingham County (NC)
GoDanRiver.com. November 5, 2008. By Steve Lawson
The normal efficiency of the Rockingham County Board of Elections office developed a glitch Tuesday evening as the final election results were being tabulated.
With Tuesday’s results from all 17 county precincts counted and entered into the system, the BOE staff turned to the results from the six one-stop voting sites.
“The system read the results from one of the sites, but it could not read the other five,” said Tina Cardwell, deputy director of RCBOE. “We still don’t know what caused the problem.”
Cardwell said the system functioned normally during the early voting process. The voting machines at each site properly scanned each ballot and compiled daily totals at the close of each day’s voting.
But when election officials tried to transfer those totals onto computers at the BOE office, the machines would not read the memory cards from five of the six ballot machines.
Fortunately there was a paper trail to follow simpler than hand counting more than 18,000 ballots. The ballot machines also create a paper roll with results tabulated.
Each of those totals has to be verified by sight and entered into the BOE computer system.
Although the results were in and compiled for Tuesday’s voting by 9 p.m. that same evening, it was almost sunrise Wednesday before BOE staff members and board members completed the hand tally of one-stop results.
“We just want to be finished before we open today and the phones start ringing,” Cardwell said. “It gets really hectic around here and it would be twice as hard to finish.”
Votes from each one-stop site had to be compiled according to precinct, race and individual. The process took more than eight hours to complete.