Now we know why we didn’t get results for many local amendments until late Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Probate Judge Don Davis says it was a machine malfunction.
Poll workers in Mobile County had around 5700 absentee ballots to count last night. For that, they use a very large, very expensive machine.
“Mobile County uses a high-speed ballot counter to process its absentee ballots,” says Probate Judge Don Davis.
But last night, those machines failed. As a result, Probate Court didn’t get an accurate count until this morning.
Here’s the breakdown–Mobile County has 133 different versions of a ballot. That’s because of all the different candidates unique to each precinct. Probate has two machines to count ballots. But the problem is, one machine can only process 100 versions of a ballot, so the remaining 33 went to the other one. Because both are hooked up to the same server, they were expecting all the votes to be merged together, however, that did not happen. So they ended up having to call the manufacturer last night.
“They worked on that overnight, it was solved, and this morning we were able to complete the processing of the absentee ballots and report our absentee ballot results,” says Davis.
That was at about 11:30 this morning. Despite the mishaps, Davis wants people to know they can trust these results.
“I think it’s very trustworthy. We’ve never had an issue with our ballot counters in Mobile County,” says Davis.
This is their tenth year using the machines. The Canvassing Board will meet tomorrow to see if any write-ins would change the outcome of any local elections. They’ll also process the provisional ballots and have their final tabulation next Tuesday.
The Canvassing Board will meet Thursday morning to see if any write-ins would change the outcome of any local elections. They’ll also process the provisional ballots and have their final tabulation next Tuesday.