A number of issues led to late Linn County election results
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - According to Linn County Auditor Joel Miller, there were two big problems that occurred on Election Day and delayed reporting the results well past midnight.
Miller said the first setback took place around noon when Mark Banowetz, a candidate for the Linn County 1st District Supervisor, went to vote. He noticed his race against Kirsten Running-Marquardt wasn’t on the ballot. Miller said the mistake took place in rural Putnam Township where there are 536 registered voters. Over 300 voters cast a ballot.
“A missed click of the mouse is what caused that error,” he said. “A box not being checked.”
Miller said the issue started 65 days ago, went through the proper measures to be checked, 20 days of early voting, and 5 hours of in-person voting. Banowetz and Running-Marquardt said they would let the process play out and wait to decide what to do after the votes were certified. Another issue, he said, took place at 11 PM Tuesday night while counting the 30-thousand absentee ballots in the county.
“One of the upload devices that we use to, basically, consolidate all the results for some reason locked up,” he said. “Think of it as the blue screen of death scenario where it locks up and had to be rebooted. Unfortunately, we lost all the data that we had uploaded to that point.”
Linn County was one of the last county’s to fully report results in the state of Iowa, even keeping some campaigns from calling their races. It was something Miller said he wasn’t proud of, but the results were accurate when they were finally done.
“I know everyone’s in a rush, everybody wants results, but in the end, accuracy is the most important aspect,” said Miller.
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