Shelby County Election Administrator Blames Issue With Results On Outdated Technology

Local News

The Shelby County Election Commission says there were no major problems reported with this midterm election. Administrator Linda Phillips says it went off pretty smoothly. But one issue did pop up during tabulation.

The results posted on the Election Commission website showed 100% of precincts were reported, when it fact those were just early voting numbers.

Phillips said the actual number of votes was correct, but because the technology is outdated, the precinct total was incorrect.

Also, Phillips said what is on the web lags somewhat behind in actual calculation because it is not uploaded in real time.

“No, it is not in real time. We have to take the thumb drive off the tabulation system then walk it over,” said Phillips referring to the computer that has the access to the internet, so the information can be uploaded.

Phillips says to fix the issue, new equipment is needed, which would cost taxpayers $12 million plus upgrades to the building.

More than 180,000 people voted early. The results were posted around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. That delay is because Shelby County has a policy that they do not tabulate the early and absentee votes until the polls have closed.

The numbers are not released until the last person has voted.

“We don’t want to discourage anybody from voting for the candidate or candidates of their choice based on the early returns. So that means unlike Davidson county or Knox counties, who push out their votes at 7:01, we push ours out afterwards,” said Robert Meyers, Election Commissioner.

Phillips said the number of provisional ballots that were cast were higher than in other elections. That’s because of issues with incomplete voter registration information. Provisional ballots will be counted within the next week and totaled out when the election is officially certified.

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