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This article was available for free viewing at the time we posted the information on electronic voting problems just after the November 2004 elections. As it was moved to the archives just days after publication, viewing the article now requires payment. For the News-Dispatch website, you must first register (no charge) and then pay $5.00 by credit card on line in order to be able to view or download the full article. We provide a copy of the article below for free. To order, go to:

Computer glitch still baffles county clerk

By Kristin Miller, The News-Dispatch

LaPorte - The day after a two-and-a-half-hour delay in counting ballots due to a glitch in a computer program, LaPorte County election officials are still trying to figure out what happened.

"Maybe there was a power surge," LaPorte County Clerk Lynne Spevak said. "Something zapped it."

At about 7 p.m. Tuesday, it was noticed that the first two or three printouts from individual precinct reports all listed an identical number of voters. Each precinct was listed as having 300 registered voters.

That means the total number of voters for the county would be 22,200, although there are actually more than 79,000 registered voters.

Vote counting resumed at about 9:30 p.m.

Spevak said workers at the clerk's office thought a computer correction could be done once they received a software patch from Election Systems and Software, the Chicago company that provided the tabulation software. However, the patch did not work.

"We thought we could get a copy of it e-mailed file to us and start all over, but once the program was downloaded from Chicago, it still didn't work right," Spevak said.

Spevak said the Board of Election was in contact with Indianapolis to see if they could certify the vote. She said Wednesday that LaPorte County election officials might have to manually input the information so that the ballots could be certified with the state.

Contact reporter Kristin Miller at [email protected]

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