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November 7, 2013

Online vote reporting delayed in two counties

MALONE — Using a new reporting system, fielding media calls and juggling diverse computer formats made Tuesday interesting for Franklin County Board of Election commissioners.

Delays in online reporting of tallies resulted there and were also reported at Clinton County Board of Elections in Plattsburgh.

Neither office posted any results until hours after polls closed.

NO CALL-INS

Caffeine and adrenaline were keeping Franklin County Democratic Commissioner Kelly Cox and Republican Commissioner Veronica King going early Wednesday as they began to check and recheck Election Day results.

For the first time, election inspectors this year did not call in results from their polling sites after the election ended at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The outcome of some races in communities close to Malone trickled in, but commissioners had to wait until about 11:30 p.m. before voting-machine cards and computer tapes from the southern end of the county were physically delivered to the County Courthouse, accompanied by an armed Sheriff’s Department escort.

Election officials in Albany were sent the results, as was the county’s computer server, which didn’t make the information available on the county webpage until well after midnight.

The delays in Franklin and Clinton counties also prompted a number of media calls that commissioners had to field.

‘NOT USER FRIENDLY’

Clinton County election officials ran into similar reporting problems, said Republican Commissioner Greg Campbell.

He and Democratic Commissioner Sue Castine were also using the new reporting system, which they said is much more complicated than its predecessor.

“And a week before the election, we were given new downloads for different reports we’d be able to read, but it was not easy, and it was not user friendly,” Campbell said.

The commissioners tested the system before the election, but the data entered for the races then were all zeroes.

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