Mower County Auditor/Treasurer Scott Felten has reported that the county’s elections office is experiencing technical difficulties.
Felten stated in a news release that when the Mower County elections team went to upload the data from Election Day voting and absentee and mail ballot data early Wednesday morning, they encountered a programming error related to the software used to submit data to the Secretary of State’s office. Despite working with tech support and their software vendor, Felten stated that they were unable to resolve the problem, and they were unable to provide full election results for Mower County.
Election staff worked to manually submit voting results for some precincts, but they were not able to submit results for the City of Austin or the mail ballot precincts or the absentee ballots processed. Felten stated that the elections office is continuing to work to manually submit City of Austin results as soon as possible. He went on to state that they are also continuing to work with their software vendor and the Secretary of State’s office so that full results can be posted.
Felten indicated in the news release that the problem is not related to any voting or ballot issues, but rather the result of a software programming error. He added that the Mower County Elections Office saw very heavy traffic on Monday and Tuesday with in-person absentee voting and mail ballot and absentee ballot drop off. Approximately 1,300 ballots were received during those two days and needed to be reviewed, accepted, reconciled, opened, and tabulated. He indicated that county staff and election judges worked tirelessly Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning to process as many of those ballots as possible. About 350 absentee or mail ballots remained uncounted as of early Wednesday morning.
Felten stated that the Mower County Elections Office realizes this is deeply frustrating, and he added that they will continue to work with their vendor and the Secretary of State to get the remaining results reported as soon as possible and to complete ballot counting.