Voters point out issues with machines amid slow reporting times in Johnson County

Posted at 4:44 PM, Aug 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-08 18:27:18-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Details about the delay in the reporting of votes Tuesday night in Johnson County are about as slow in coming as the votes being reported. 

Tuesday night turned into Wednesday morning before most of the ballots were counted and reported in August’s primary

A statement from voting machine manufacturer Election Systems and Software said Wednesday the problem lied in the encrypted USB drives that carry all the votes. The information was supposed to upload in minutes, but took hours. The unofficial final results trickled in at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. 

The company says it "takes accountability for and apologizes for the slower than normal upload of results" and is "performing a forensic analysis." 

The statement went on to say the accuracy of the results was never in question. 

This summer, the Johnson County Board of Commissioners voted to spend $10.5 million on 2,100 new voting machines and train workers to use them. The previous machines had been in use since 2004 and caused a headache in the November 2016 election when a software glitch caused delays in reporting. 

The new voting machines have touchscreens, like before, but now have a paper audit trail to let voters know their vote went through. 

“I think they ought to test it a little better before put it out for use,” said Overland Park resident Diana Meise.

Meise says she and her neighbor had some issues while using the machines. She says she only saw the options to vote for state representative and governor, then the machine prompted her to either print or cast her ballot when there were other races left to vote for. 

“I got to reading the print and you had to hit ‘previous’ to go back and then it took you through the stuff again and you finally got those, I finally got them. My neighbor never did get them,” Meise said. 

Meise worries other people didn't read the fine print like she did and cast their ballots without seeing all the options. 

“I told the lady at the election office, I said, ‘this needs to be fixed,’ I’d be curious to know if the election numbers are way down for all those other contests because nobody could vote on it,” Meise said.

Then once she cast her ballot, she says she came across another hiccup.

“It just came up with a screen with a big red exclamation point,” she said.

She said the worker wasn’t sure what to do, so the worker voided her ballot and had her fill out another. 

Meise says she hopes she doesn’t come across these issues in November. 

“That’s one of the reasons I called you because that’s not right,” said Meise.

The election ffice hadn't responded to our inquiries regarding Meise's specific issue by the time this story aired.