Computer problems slow Baltimore County tally
Katie A. Brown, Baltimore County election director, says the vote-counting problems -- which have delayed results in several close council races -- were due to computer glitches, as well as human error.
The computer program that counts votes off the memory cards in voting machines kept crashing Tuesday night, so officials had to slow down, she said this morning. Each memory card takes about two minutes to upload, and there are more than 2,000 machines in the county, so uploading one memory card at a time onto the election board's computers would take about six or seven hours after polls closed.
"It got to the point where we could only do about one card at a time," she said.
Meanwhile, in four or five precincts, judges left the memory cards in the machines.
Today, election board workers are going to those precincts, including one at the Charlestown retirement community, to retrieve the memory cards and upload those votes.
"This does happen, it has happened in the past," she said. "Every election, there's a problem. There's always a precinct or two that doesn't bring back a card."
Brown expects the votes to be tallied by this afternoon, but even then they won't be official.
Even as the election board officials set out to tally the missing votes, some candidates were checking results. Shown here at the board offices are Councilman Kenneth Oliver, a Democrat from Distrct 4, and Rebecca Dongarra, a Democrat from District 1.
-- Yeganeh June Torbati