Although the May primary has been over for more than a month, candidates still haven’t been able to find out exactly how they won.
Precinct-by-precinct results are often used by parties and candidates to see what parts of the city or county their votes came from and what areas where mprovement may be needed. The results are usually available soon after the election, but this year they still don’t exist.
The first time I ever watched election results being tallied at the county courthourse in Marshall, Illinois where I grew up, the results were handwritten on a chalk board outside the clerk's office precinct-by-precinct. An election veteran explained to me, then a 13-year old, how you could often predict whether a candidate would win long before the final results were tallied. He explained that some precincts favored one party over the other party, and a candidate of that party would traditionally win a precinct by a minimum percentage if it was a normal election. If a candidate's vote was off the traditional mark, that could spell problems for the candidate. Even better, certain precincts it was explained to me are like a microcosm of the county-wide vote. The results in those precincts were generally a mirror-image of the county-wide results. If a candidate carried one of these precincts, it was very likely he/she would carry the county. The total number of votes cast in a precinct also served as a benchmark for total voter turnout.
According to the item in Kelly's column, Allen Co. political observers have only been able to see the raw vote totals for each of the candidates. No information has been available on a precinct-by-precinct basis. Jeanne Nicolet, an assistant director of the Allen Co. Election Board, tells Kelly that the voting machines did not include a program to calculate results by precinct. Kelly also notes that the Microvote Infinity machines were not certified for use in the election, causing even more concern.
Not having the precinct-by-precinct vote totals prevents anyone from discerning whether there are certain irregularities in Allen Co. election returns. The fact that the machines lacked this simple calculating capability tells me that the person who developed the program knew very little about our elections. And the company's internal tester obviously knew little about elections, or he/she would have discovered the error quickly. Regardless, the error leaves little reason to have confidence in Microvote's voting machines.