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Forgotten memory card delays results
By MIKE KONRAD, Times Staff Writer
Published January 31, 2008
BROOKSVILLE - Hernando's election results were delayed Tuesday night by a memory mix-up.
The problem was in Precinct 35 at the Timber Pines Lodge in Spring Hill, where poll workers forgot to bring a computer memory card to the Supervisor of Elections Office in Brooksville.
Once polls close at 7 p.m., poll workers are supposed to take the counting device from the ballot-scanning machine and first attempt to upload the results via the phone to the elections office.
Supervisor of Elections Annie Williams tells workers that if after three attempts they cannot get the results to transmit, they are supposed drive their counters, which include the memory cards, and the actual paper ballots to her office.
There were 11 precincts that had to bring their results to the elections office Tuesday night. But when it came time to run the results for Precinct 35, the counter containing the memory card could not be found.
Williams said elections workers searched all of the other precincts' bags before concluding that the counter apparently had not been delivered to the office.
"It was supposed to be handed to someone," she said. "Obviously it wasn't."
The poll workers were called, and it was discovered that the counter, in fact, was safe and secure. It had been left in a sealed bag at the Timber Pines Lodge. At that point, poll workers drove part way to Brooksville and met two members of Williams' staff to hand off the counter.
In the meantime, workers hand-fed 777 ballots cast in Precinct 35 into a scanner at the elections office so the unofficial countywide tally could be completed.