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Elections board says it overcame computer malfunction

  • CTY-toledovotes-3

    A Toledoan votes in Tuesday’s primary at Washington Church on West Central Avenue. Despite a computer malfunction, election results were reported earlier than in most years.

    The Blade/Jetta Fraser
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  • LaVera-Scott-jpg-1

    Scott

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    Luke Powell loads memory cards into machines for counting at the Lucas County Board of Elections for the primary election in Toledo on Tuesday.

    The Blade/Kurt Steiss
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  • CTY-primaryelection12p-1

    Election board workers load machines with memory cards at the Lucas County Board of Elections for the primary election in Toledo on Tuesday.

    The Blade/Kurt Steiss
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Despite an equipment malfunction that threatened to delay the vote-counting Tuesday, the Lucas County Board of Elections finished reporting the Toledo primary election earlier than most years, Director LaVera Scott said Wednesday.

The board reported a 100 percent count at 11:15 p.m.

“We were done earlier in this election than we’ve ever done in a primary,” Ms. Scott said.

RELATED: Kapszukiewicz, Hicks-Hudson advance in mayoral primary ■ Council primary ■ Perrysburg votes for mayor

CTY-toledovotes-3

A Toledoan votes in Tuesday’s primary at Washington Church on West Central Avenue. Despite a computer malfunction, election results were reported earlier than in most years.

The Blade/Jetta Fraser
Enlarge | Buy This Image

The computer that hosts the board’s vote-tabulating database broke down about 6 p.m., just 90 minutes before the polls were to close. The computer server was purchased in April, 2015 for $6,974 and is serviced and under warranty by the board’s elections contractor, Dominion Voting Systems Co., of Denver.

Ms. Scott said Dominion emailed an apology and promised the county a new server for the November election.

Elections board members were warned Tuesday there could be a delay in reporting the results.

Ms. Scott credited the board’s information technology director for election results and vote tabulation, Travis Moody, for having the knowledge to configure a backup computer to handle the work.

“Thank God Travis knew how to do it. If we had to wait for [Dominion] we’d have been dead in the water,” Ms. Scott said.

In practice, she said, if someone on staff was not familiar with how to initialize the backup computer, she would have had a Dominion representative on hand.

Ms. Scott said the main reason for the improved reporting time was the introduction of electronic poll books, or tablets, at the polling places. The tablets generated voter totals immediately, unlike previous elections in which poll workers had to count and recount signatures in a book before they could shut down their polling places and bring the data cards from the election machines to the county’s vote-tabulating center downtown.

Contact Tom Troy at tomtroy@theblade.com419-724-6058, or on Twitter @TomFTroy.

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