Lake County: No repeat of 2008 election results this year
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent October 16, 2012 12:54PM
Updated: November 18, 2012 6:47AM
CROWN POINT — Lake County election officials say they do not expect a repeat of the reporting delays experienced in 2008 presidential primary elections come Nov. 6.
“We have made a substantial change since the primary in 2008 when we had that vote count hold up,” said Steve Shamo, with MicroVote Indiana, the company that provides the county’s election technology.
Shamo Tuesday told the Lake County Board of Elections during the test of the 2012 voting machines that the problem in 2008 arose when it came to entering the 15,000 absentee ballots into the computerized system election day. Once workers began entering the absentee ballots for a precinct, they could not access the polling place results for that precinct, even though those results were available, until all the absentee ballots were manually entered causing the delay in reporting.
Now the two types of votes are classified in different columns by the computer so precinct vote counts can be provided as soon as they become available even if all the absentee ballots have not been entered. This will allow for results to come in throughout the night as precincts report. The total vote amounts for a precinct will be merged once all absentee ballots are entered.
He expects the first totals to come in as early as 6:30 p.m.
Shamo said there were no problems that arose during the test of the election equipment. There will be 62 unique ballot styles in Lake County for the primary election depending on what local races occur in each precinct.
There are more than 1,200 voting machines in Lake County. Tuesday’s test represented five of the county’s precincts and included sample ballots with votes for each candidate as well as the recording of sample absentee ballots.
“The county goes above and beyond what is required by law with additional testing,” Shamo said.