“They failed miserably,” he said of the company hired by the state to replace all the punch card systems in Ohio with optical scanning equipment. “I don't want to sound like we are casting blame, but I don't know how else to answer these questions.”
In most elections, the results are known by around 10 p.m. However, because of all the problems, the Board of Elections didn't release the results until about 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 9.
“I'm not happy and I don't think the county should be happy with the effort we have gotten from our contract provider,” Mowery said that night.
Mowery said the Scioto County Board of Elections turned this and the next election over to Diebold by contract and that Diebold employees did the computer coding and set up the database.
“And now we are finding they are showing results of certain precincts that were uploaded, but they weren't downloaded properly,” Mowery said.
One discrepancy was in Precinct 2F where the data screen showed eight votes, but a paper copy showed 120 votes which matched the poll book.
“We wanted to witness them run two elections and so far that hasn't worked out very well,” Mowery said. “We were told that when all the precincts came in, they could place in the memory cards and we would get results immediately.”
Mowery said another problem the Board of Elections had was that printing company Dayton Legal printed the absentee ballots two millimeters too wide and the ballots would not go through the counter. Some 2,000 absentee ballots were taken under armed guard to a local printer to be trimmed.
“We can't run the general election until the absentee votes are counted,” Mowery said, who added he had called the Secretary of State to report the problems and also the fact that the Diebold regional manager assigned to Scioto County had never run an election before.
“We have had a lot of problems that Diebold put in here,” Mowery said. “That's not going to sound good in the newspaper, but neither is ‘election chaos,' but we are working our way through it.”