El Paso County Officials Accuse Secretary of State’s Notification System of Delaying Election Results | News: Election coverage


An error in the secretary of state’s election night reporting system caused an hour and a half delay in El Paso County election results on Tuesday night, county officials said.

A programming error on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website caused the total number of ballots to count up, even though the results reported by El Paso County were correct, the chief technology officer said. County Information, Karl Nordstrom.

When officials discovered the overcoverage, they removed a document from the county election website that showed anticipated return results. The original report contained the correct ballot total and the correct vote total for all questions and races, Nordstrom said.

County officials later determined that the state site was in error. A section of the county’s website that was originally reserved for updates to the vote count was later replaced with a link to the Secretary of State’s website and a statement from the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder, Chuck Broerman, who said in part, “The Elections Department has many safeguards in place to ensure the accuracy and validity of vote totals when released to the public,” and that the delay in posting the results was due to an “excess of caution”.

After the original results document was removed from the county’s website, the results were not reported again until after they appeared on the Secretary of State’s website at around 9 p.m. The Secretary of State’s site has been corrected manually.

“The delay in results was due to excess of caution,” Broerman said.

El Paso County Commissioner Holly Williams has said the situation will be investigated, but she has full confidence in the electoral process.

“We look forward to hearing updates from the SOS office after the review to find out what may have happened with their election night reporting system,” Broerman’s statement said.

The Gazette requested comments from the Secretary of State’s office and received no response.

Gazette Journalists Breeanna Jent, Evan Ochsner, Mary Shinn and Jessica Snouwaert contributed to this report.


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