Correction: Boulder County’s backup process to keep track of voting has been clarified. County officials say there was no loss of ability to track the data.
A CU grad student, Patrick Nordine, rushed out of the UMC this afternoon angry with the long wait times he saw throughout the day.
“The system is going in and out,” a poll worker told Nordine. He said he fears voter turnout diminishing due to the wait times.
Colorado’s Statewide Voting System, SCORE, was down for 25 minutes around 3 p.m. on Election Day according to Judd Choate, state director of elections. Boulder County had issues connecting to the system due to an internet outage, on-and-off since 11:45 a.m., according to Choate. Mircalla Wozniak, a county spokeswoman, said the county outages affected less than 2,000 voters out of an expected total of 200,000 — less than one percent.
The Colorado Democrats were in court late Tuesday afternoon in a Denver District Court asking for an injunction to extend the polls 2 hours to 9 p.m., but the judge ruled that polls would close on schedule. People in line to vote by 7 p.m. would still be able to vote, like normal.
Barb Hallpin from the Boulder Election Commission said there was a server capacity error which led to a loss of the county’s normal method of keeping track of who had already voted. That information is called a “voter credit” and is counted once a signature has been approved from a mail-in, drop-box or an in-person vote. Without it, the county could not be sure voters did not double vote. The county was prepared for that scenario, though, and moved to its backup plan to continue keeping track of credits.
In Denver, La Plata County, Arapahoe County, Mesa and Larimer Counties in addition to Boulder County, voters were issued provisional ballots, according to The Denver Post. In Boulder, these will be counted on Wednesday, Wozniak said.
While the servers were down voters, had to fill out an extra sheet that included information for a provisional ballot to ensure that votes could be verified. Wozniak said the outages were not related to long wait times in line.
Votes that where cast during the multiple periods when servers were down will be compared with mail-in and dropped off ballots by a bipartisan team Wednesday. Hallpin said ballots will be kept in secrecy sleeves while the bipartisan teams examine the registration information.
Conrad Latis, an election ambassador and county worker, said there were no possibilities of voter fraud due to the system going down.
According to Latis and Hallpin, the county-wide issues were resolved before 6:30 p.m. The line snaking outside of the UMC has shortened and students continue to vote, despite Nordine’s concerns.
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