Natrona County Clerk’s Office Ran Into Ballot Machine Problems
The Natrona County Clerk's Office encountered several issues in counting ballots, which caused results to be released late Tuesday.
The office began counting the record number 11,000 absentee ballots at 8 a.m., but the central count machine had problems, County Clerk Renea Vitto said.
Vitto had to call the manufacturer for technical support, but that wasn't the only reason results could not be released at 7 p.m. when the polls closed.
"And we weren't done running them at seven (p.m.), that was the problem," she said.
"And we were still waiting for our support call back to find out," Vitto said. "We needed to clear a batch and to rerun it because it didn't balance and we found the reason why it didn't balance and we needed to rerun it again. But we had to call for support to find that out, how to do it."
The returned absentee ballots themselves sometimes had problems because people would mark them incorrectly, which meant additional attention by county workers, she said.
In the past, the county clerk's office would feed the ballots into the machine on a precinct by precinct basis.
But with the large number of absentee ballots, the office fed them into the machine as a large batch in the August primary and on Tuesday.
Vitto said the office will go back to the previous way of counting in future elections.