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Software SNAFU slows vote count

Election results tape piles up on the chair as election judges Jill Whitehead, left, Sylvia Shugart, center, and Lois Thomas check early, absentee and alternate tapes Tuesday evening at the Curry County Courthouse. CNJ staff photo: Eric Kluth.

A problem with new computers and software required by state legislation slowed down vote counting Tuesday night in Curry County, according to County Clerk Mario Trujillo and Deputy County Clerk Coni Jo Lyman.

Lyman said an attempt to do a shortcut, called “super precincting,” Tuesday night failed and resulted in county clerk’s personnel having to count precinct totals one at a time.

The failure added hours and extra labor, Trujillo and Lyman said.

Previously, counties counted and reported votes to the Secretary of State by totaling votes from Legislative districts. But a law approved by the State Legislature this year requires counties to report the vote according to precincts, Lyman said.

Curry County and seven or eight other counties were slated to try super-precincting Tuesday — using the machines to total the vote in Legislative districts, Trujillo said.

But, Lyman said, when she tried use the machines to get a cumulative total based on legislative districts, the numbers produced were incorrect.

Ink Impressions President Terry Rainey said Tuesday there is no problem with the software and that the counties were only verifying the totals by precint.

But Lyman said there is a problem with the software and Trujillo said Rainey told him Tuesday night that Colfax County also had a problem with the super precinct process.

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