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Problems at the polls: results take longer to finalize

INGHAM COUNTY, Mich. (WLNS) - Even though the polls closed last night at 8 p.m., full Ingham County election results were not available until about 6 o'clock this morning.

With yesterday's primary having the highest voter turnout in over a decade, this one had a few problems. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum says one of them was figuring out how to post the results.

“The Ingham County website is not sufficient to support the amount of data that I need to upload,” said Byrum.

Byrum had to go with Plan B and post the results in an external drop box to make them available to the public online. The problem is nothing new.

“This is something I have complained to the Board of Commissioners for well over six years. Our county website is not sufficient,” said Byrum.

Another problem was counting absentee ballots. Byrum says with the humidity outside and the paper ballots, it took longer to process them.

Absentee ballot results are usually sent to the County Clerk's Office online, but with this time delay, Meridian Township had to bring in its results on a memory card early this morning.

Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus says even though the election equipment was bought in 2017, it's not living up to the standards of what they need.

“We have a high speed tabulator that does not run at high speed and that really causes a bring problem when we start emphasizing absentee voting in Meridian Township,” said Dreyfus.

Even though the problems this morning were solved and election results were posted, Byrum plans on working to minimize troubles before the November election.

“The November election is important,” said Byrum. “People are going to want to know those results, but I only have so much control. The Board of Commissioners controls my budget, and I look forward to working with the board to make sure we have an adequate website.”

6 News reached out to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners about the county website and they directed us to the Controller’s Office, which is in charge of the county budget.

The deputy controller said they do understand these issues and are planning to work with the Clerk's Office to get them fixed before the November election.


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