County clerk: Too much info caused delays

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While some people waited in line to vote, others waited online to see their vote.

But Arapahoe County Clerk and Recorder Nancy Doty says it “wasn't a problem” that slowed the county's posting of preliminary election results the night of Nov. 6, but rather the vast amounts of graphic-rich data her office was trying to push to the web.

Doty – who also was a candidate, winning the District 1 county commissioner's seat – said this year the county did things differently, providing voters with maps and bar graphs in addition to standard election results.

The eagerly anticipated first batch of voting results, compiled as of 7:18 p.m. and later emailed to media outlets, were not made available on the county's website until about 8 p.m. In recent elections, the county has had the first round of election results posted between 7 and 7:30 p.m.

An email sent by a county communication specialist to Colorado Community Media shortly before 8 p.m. on Election Night said results had not been posted “due to a technical issue with our software company.” Doty, however, said that statement was incorrect.

“There was never a system glitch and at no time was voter data ever at risk,” she explained. “There was just so much information that it took a lot longer to post.”

Nonetheless, citizens and media outlets alike waited patiently for results, with the county's final online update of the night coming just after 1 a.m.

“The last update took 48 minutes to load, again, just because of the enormous volume of data, it longer,” said Doty.

Doty said the software system isn't new, just the format of the election results.

Arapahoe, as well as other counties, and the state employ an election management software program called S.O.E .

According to the company's website, www.soesoftware.com, which identifies Arapahoe County as a client, S.O.E is owned by Scytl, a technology company based in Barcelona, Spain that specializes in the development of secure electronic voting and election modernization solutions.

Parts of the county, specifically Aurora, also saw longer lines at polling places, with some voters waiting as long as three hours. Doty said the problem stemmed from the fact many voters chose to vote at the larger polling places.

“We had a total of 17 polling places in Aurora and many of them had little or no wait,” she said. “We posted this information online, along with wait times.”

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper heard about the long lines in Arapahoe County, prompting him to visit two of the polling places, according to multiple media reports. He reportedly asked Doty to move election judges around to alleviate the long wait.

“Our goal is to deliver accurate results, and we do that,” Doty said.