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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Voting machine company warned Hillsborough of problems



TAMPA -- Premier Election Solutions, the company that provided Hillsborough with its voting system, warned Buddy Johnson's staff in early September that there might be problems processing data from early voting machines.

An e-mail from account manager Jay Bollenbacher starts: "As you know we are expecting a high volume of voter turn out in the November election." He recommended changing out the memory cards on machines at early voting sites after several days of use and once a few thousand ballots had been processed. "This action will distribute the ballots onto multiple memory cards and will prevent having to re-process all of your ballots should there an issue with a single device," he wrote. 

Chuck Smith, a member of Johnson's technical team and listed as a recipient of the e-mail, said Wednesday that although each of the early voting sites had two machines, each machine used only one memory card. He thought the cards could handle 10,000 ballots or more.

On election day, large files from early voting machines couldn't be uploaded to the server that counts the ballots because the program shut down before the task could be finished. That forced elections officials today to refeed more than 80,000 ballots cast during the early voting period into dozens of scanners.

Janet Zink, Times Staff Writer


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 11:39am]


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