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Feedback from Maryland
Maryland had a terrific election on November 5. 5100 units were implemented
in 500 precincts across 4 Counties. Voter turnout was moderately heavy.
The R6 units were enthusiastically received by the voters.
Montgomery County resolved all of their process issues that caused delayed
openings and closings in the Primary. They were 90% reporting by 10:00, and
completed the election at 11:40 (missing only 4 PC Cards). In fact, the
10:00 news showed the "Diebold" Counties as 60% of the early results, with
those Counties consisting of only 40% of the voters.
We're working on a detailed report, which will be shared in the future. For
now, however, I wanted to capture the following issues/comments/suggestions:
1. Party Designation on the Instructions and Summary Pages
One small issue kept the election from being "perfect" in Maryland. There
was one legislative district that retained the party designation from the
Primary, rather than being changed to Non Partisan. Unfortunately, there is
no opportunity to catch this in the proofing process, unless you do a manual
L&A (which is nearly impossible on 2600 units). The "Test Count" does not
display the Instruction page. Is this a change that could be made on the
a. Why is the Party designation on the Instruction page and the Summary
page? It is in the header of the ballot.
b. Why not eliminate the Instructions Page all together? Post printed
instructions in the booth. (This would simplify many issues, such as
changing TS Text, and hard coded info on this page.)
c. The Party designation has to be changed in every district between the
Primary and the General, leaving many opportunities for failure. Why not
have one option that changes them all automatically?
Montgomery County's attorney insisted on capturing the write-in votes for
the registered candidates - - by precinct. Because this must be done on
EACH PC CARD that includes a write-in vote for a registered candidate, this
involved 4000 data entry edits. 2000 edits to remove the "other" votes, and
2000 entries to move the votes to the registered candidate.
Is there a better way?
3. Election Summary Report by Precinct
Maryland candidates are used to precinct level reporting. There is no easy
way to print the Election Summary report with all precincts, sorted by
precinct. Montgomery County had to initiate the printing of the Election
Summary Report 227 times, each time selecting a different precinct. They
printed these reports after the election, after the canvas, and after the
overseas ballots - altogether initiating 681 separate reports (and the same
for the html file, which they posted to their web site).
Perhaps this has already been improved in something beyond GEMS 1.17.17 -
but if not . . .
Maryland Project Manager
Diebold Election Systems, Inc.