TARRANT COUNTY (CBSDFW.COM) – Tarrant County will ask the Secretary of State’s office to be involved with figuring out why a computer failed to provide voting results Tuesday night, delaying reporting of primary election outcomes until early Wednesday morning.
The county ended up starting its official vote tabulation early to provide results, bypassing the preview that typically is pushed out to the public as returns come in after polls close.
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Elections administrator Heider Garcia stressed he had complete confidence that the count that finally went out after 4 am was accurate. It just didn’t come with as much speed as they had planned.
Garcia said a computer that typically received vote data wirelessly from voting machines, wasn’t processing the results that are then posted online. The elections office got the system vendor involved with technical support, but nothing was working.
“What we said was, ‘we’re not having the preview,’” Garcia said Wednesday. “We’re going to have to bring those drives in as fast as we can, and not read them in tomorrow. We got to read them tonight, so we can post on the website.”
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In some cases sheriff deputies picked up machines from voting centers, acting as couriers to get them to the elections office in Fort Worth.
The entire process inside the elections office could be seen on live video as well, part of a new law that requires live streaming video.
The priority now is to finish taking in mail-in ballots, and going through provisional ballots, so votes can be canvassed in time to meet state deadlines.
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After that, Garcia said the county will work with the vendor and the state to investigate the problem and determine a solution before municipal and runoff elections later this spring.