Washoe experiences ballot count problems with missing cartridges
September 8, 2004
Considering that 16 of Nevada’s 17 counties were using electronic voting machines for the first time, balloting went remarkably smoothly Tuesday night.
Washoe County, however, was the exception after, later in the evening, election officials were missing nearly 50 of the memory cartridges that inset in the back of the voting machines and record the ballots cast.
Dan Burk and his staff searched through the night and into Wednesday morning, finding that some of the cartridges had been left in the machines while others were misplaced at the election center.
By noon, Chief Deputy Secretary of State Renee Parker said all the cartridges had been accounted for and all the ballots counted.
Secretary of State Dean Heller said it was human error and that the machines themselves worked flawlessly statewide.
Parker said some of the cartridges were from machines that weren’t used at different polling places. But she said the bigger problem was the lack of procedures for auditing and accounting for the cartridges as they were delivered at the election center.
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She said they were from machines all over the county including Incline Village where some cartridges were left overnight in machines locked up at the elementary school.
In the end, the problem delayed final results in Washoe County but caused no major problems with the accuracy of the count, officials said.
Contact Geoff Dornan at email@example.com or 687-8750.