Premier, Browning weigh in on Hillsborough elections
TAMPA -- With the outcomes of several high-profile races hanging in the balance, Hillsborough County elections officials on Wednesday will begin rescanning about 80,000 ballots cast during early voting.
The rescanning will be done by hand because about 60 percent of the ballot scanners used for early voting failed to upload their data to the office's server for tabulation. Elections officials said they will try to scan the ballots as quickly as possible. More than 146,000 Hillsborough voters participated in early voting.
Premier Election Solutions, the company that provides Hillsborough County with its optical scan voting system, said delays in tallying the county's votes Tuesday were caused by premature termination of data uploads from remote locations. Information was sent from those locations by modem to the central vote counting site at the Supervisor of Elections office.
The large amount of data on memory cards from machines used during early voting caused the same problem, according to a statement issued by the company today.
Although more than 20 counties in the state use Premier voting systems, Secretary of State Kurt Browning said to his knowledge Hillsborough is the only county encountering difficulties. "We've certified those systems," Browning said. "There are just some things that at this point, I guess, are frustrating and unexplainable."
He said the state needs to get to the point where voting systems "are performing the way that these counties have contracted them to work." Browning said one of his top 2009 legislative priorities is to make sure that three main voting equipment vendors are producing "first-rate products."
Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer