Election equipment, software ready for vote

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ Staff Writer

County political party officials said they are satisfied county election officials have done all they can to ensure a smooth election.

Election manager Coni Jo Lyman said backup plans are in place in the event software issues resurface during the general election that could delay results.

The general election is Nov. 4.

An error in the tabulation software delayed the results of the primary election by a day.

Lyman said the clerk’s office had the software reinstalled after the primary elections.

The 2006 general election results were also delayed because of the tabulation software.

“In the past elections it seems that’s where the problem has been … When we get down to tabulation software, there have been some issues,” she said.

Lyman said the clerk’s office completed a test of all 40 voting machines in front of a representative from the Secretary of State’s office and representatives from the Republican and Democratic parties.

She said the contingency plan involves putting county courthouse staff on standby to manually count ballots in case the tabulation software presents a problem.

“I have recruited help (of staff members) from several other elected offices here in the courthouse to achieve that goal,” she said.

Secretary of State spokesman James Flores said the secretary of state’s office will be on hand on election day to support the county clerks.

“The county clerks run the election,” he said.

Flores said a phone bank has been set up to answer questions and offer troubleshooting advice for county election officials.

The clerk’s office officials tested the tabulation machines Thursday, according to Lyman.

Curry County Republican Chairman Rube Render said he was satisfied the county clerk’s office has done everything it can to ensure the election goes smoothly.

“There are always minor glitches in everything, but I anticipate the election going smoothly,” he said.

Mark Lansford, a member of the county’s information technology committee, said they will use a backup Internet service provider in case the primary service goes down on election day.

The clerk’s office sends all tabulated results to the secretary of state office, which posts the results online.

“We’re planning to have a qualified IT person here for the most part of the day, to troubleshoot any problems that may arise with the recording of the election results,” Lansford said.