DEVELOPING: Mower County Elections Office experiencing technical difficulties, delaying final vote tally

Published 8:28 am Wednesday, November 4, 2020

A programming error has delayed the submitting of voting results of precincts in Austin, in turn delaying the final election results of several races in the city and Mower County.

According to a press release from Mower County Auditor-Treasurer Scott Felten, when election officials 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.  

“The problem is not related to any voting or ballot issues, but rather the result of a software programming error,” Felten said in the release.

The issue could not be resolved through working with tech support and their software vendor

Election staff has been working to manually submit voting results for some precincts, but was not able to submit results for the City of Austin or the mail ballot precincts or the absentee ballots processed.  

Felten said they are continuing to manually submit City of Austin results as soon as possible and are also continuing to work with the software vendor and the Secretary of State’s office so that full results can be posted.

The Mower County Elections Office saw very heavy traffic 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; ballots that needed to be reviewed, accepted, reconciled, opened and tabulated.  

About 350 absentee or mail ballots remained uncounted as of early Wednesday morning.  

The release went on to say that the Mower County Elections Office realizes this is deeply frustrating, but will continue to work with the vendor and the Secretary of State to get the remaining results reported as soon as possible and to complete ballot counting.