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Why Pr. Geo.'s Election Results Were Delayed

Rosalind Helderman

Lots of people in Prince George's have been wondering today why election results from yesterday's special primary election for the open District 5 County Council seat seemed to be so slow to arrive.

After all, results only had to be gathered from 25 precincts and only 3,181 people voted in the race. Why, then, were all the results not posted until almost midnight when polls closed at 8 p.m.?

Elections Administrator Alisha Alexander said results, in fact, came in steadily. She said she had predicted all results would be reported by 11:15 p.m. and was not surprised when it took about 30 minutes longer.

She said 17 precincts transmitted results for their polling stations to the Board of Elections headquarters electronically, the fastest means of doing so. Election judges from the final eight polling places secured election materials and physically drove results to the office instead, causing some delay.

She said election officials will now explore whether they did so after encountering difficulties with the electronic transmission process--as some election judges did in 2006--or because they were simply more comfortable with the physical transport. Elections officials prefer for all results to be transmitted electronically, a point she said will be stressed in training for election judges between now and the fall's presidential election.

Illustrating the human component to running an election, she noted the last precinct to report was particularly delayed. Why? The election judge told officials his car broke down en route from Charles H. Flowers High School to the board's office.

By Rosalind Helderman  |  April 2, 2008; 4:44 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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I find it very difficult to believe the safest way to collect polling results is to load the machines into the trunk of some beat-up old jalopy and drive them back to Upper Marlboro.

What integrity is there in that maneuver?

Let's hope they remember where they put that file with all the absentee ballots in it.

Posted by: PG'er | April 2, 2008 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Isn't Flowers two precincts in one building? How can one be reported electronically and the other by junker?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 2, 2008 5:42 PM | Report abuse

The last posting on Maryland Moment about the special election in Montgomery mCounty for county council district 4 was on 3/25.

Posted by: Silence is golden | April 3, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

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