Human error is cause of N.M. election glitch

Human error is cause of N.M. election glitch

Election officials in New Mexico's Bernalillo County, the state's most populous, found that 67,000 absentee and early-voting ballots were incorrectly counted following the Nov. 7 presidential election.

The panicked officials first thought computerized tabulation machines or balloting software were at fault. The county uses the AccuVote optical scan system from Global Election Systems Inc. of McKinney, Texas.

The tabulation system and software worked correctly, but a county technical employee failed to set up an element of the system properly, said Frank Kaplan, Global's Western regional manager. New Mexico's ballots are designed for voting by party, but voters can choose candidates from other parties. A programmer did not link the candidates' names to their respective parties.

'The problem took 22 minutes for us to fix,' he said. 'It was just a matter of clicking on the correct link.'

'Donna Young

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