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Small glitch causes big problems in Manatee (FL)
My Fox Tampa Bay. November 5, 2008.

BRADENTON - Bob Sweat says he's never been more frustrated in his 24 years as elections supervisor in Manatee County.

When he went to upload final results on early voting and absentees Tuesday night, the computer system just froze up.

The makers of the machines eventually figured out the problem was caused by a candidate who ped out of a small race for fire commissioner after the computer program was written. That caused a ripple effect across the system.

"Everything was programmed, the ballots were printed, everything. I guess he got transferred and he ped out of the race," Sweat said.

Even though some 45,000 votes - or about one in 4 - weren't counted, most races were not impacted because they weren't close contests.

Sweat says he'll take steps to make sure this never happens again.

"We may go another 20 years and not have someone out of the race after the program has been written," Sweat said.

But if it does happen, Sweat says next time he'll be ready.

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