Hardware problems delay DuPage County election results in Illinois primary

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Hardware problems delay DuPage County election results
A problem with a voting machine Tuesday night delayed election results in DuPage County.

WHEATON, Ill. (WLS) -- Problems with voting machines delayed election results in DuPage County in Tuesday's Illinois primary.

It's a brand new system that was supposed to fix a glitch from the last election, but it was anything but smooth sailing Tuesday.

The executive director of the DuPage County Election Commission said that the problem had to do with a piece of paper that was used at the end of the voting process, it was too thick for the machines.

That meant election judges had to physically bring in machines from all 265 polling locations across DuPage County.

The full results were then delayed hours. And all of this happened despite what the election commission described as rigorous pre-election testing.

"We're going to have to look at doing spot checks and discussing it with our production facility and our production personnel to look at what we can do in the future to prevent things like this from happening," said Joe Sobecki, executive director DuPage County Election Commission.

Wednesday, County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said the delay was unacceptable and that the commission had failed the voters of DuPage County.

Cronin released a statement thanking the election judges, saying, "I would like to thank the residents of DuPage County who volunteered their time to serve as an election judge or precinct worker. Serving in this capacity requires a significant time commitment on their part, including lengthy training sessions, set up the night before, and a 15-plus-hour day at the polls. Our election process could not happen without the dedication of these public servants. Although we had some technical difficulties last night, we are appreciative of the commitment shown by these election workers who stayed until the job was done."

The new voting system was supposed to be a headache-free alternative to the older system that experienced a glitch in the elections last April.

The election commission is stressing the votes were not compromised by this delay.

Technology Committee Chairman Kevin Wiley and Committee Vice-Chairwoman Janice Anderson released a statement Wednesday saying, "On behalf of our fellow board members and the Technology Committee, we would like to express our concern about the performance of the DuPage Election Commission Tuesday evening. After conferring with DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, we request the Executive Director of the Election Commission appear before the full County Board at our next meeting, March 27, to present information about the effort to tabulate and report election results."

In a statement, DuPage County Election Commission said, "Despite rigorous pre-election testing of the Ballot Tabulation equipment and tabulation process, certain technical difficulties occurred in closing the precincts, unrelated to the Ballot Tabulation. The Commission utilized its Ballot/Memory Card Transport Procedure to have the security sealed Memory Cards delivered by Bi-Partisan Teams to the County's Central Tabulating Facility. The integrity of the Memory Cards and the Votes casts were never compromised as a result of this delay in uploading the March 20, 2018 General Primary Election results. The Election Commission apologizes for the delay in reporting tonight's election results."