Howard Election Results “Snafu” Spurs Focus on State, Local Systems For November

Howard County’s primary election results took until well into Wednesday morning to be posted on the State Board of Elections website – causing players to consider system changes for the upcoming November General election.

From coverage in the Baltimore Sun, Howard regional edition:

The state’s live election results page did not display results from all of the county’s precincts until around 10 a.m. the day after the April 26 primary. The county was the only jurisdiction in the state to experience the website snag even though local officials submitted all results to the state around midnight, said Natasha Walker, the Maryland State Board of Elections’ project manager of election management systems and webmaster.

The state hosts the site, which is operated by Election Systems and Software, a company based in Nebraska. State officials think the website did not show updated results because the utility generating the files was turned off before it could grab the latest election results from the database where local officials feed the election numbers.

The problem prompted the local elections board to create a county-run results site as a backup to the state’s site.

“By November, I’m confident the state will iron the kinks out of it. It was a first and I’m sure they will work out a resolution,” said Guy Mickley, election director of the Howard County Board of Elections. “This was a perceived election snafu. The website went down. All the results were in. It is what it is. The first time around, there will be some glitches.

The local elections board is also changing how it pools results from the county’s precincts after stagnant updates several hours after polls closed.

“It looked like we were doing nothing,” said Mickley. “It was also the last thing I expected.”

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties
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