Wayne Co. dumps election vendor, saying problems remain

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News

Wayne County officials are dumping a software company used to display election results , saying the vendor hasn't fixed issues that led to delays and inaccuracies in the primary with another election less than a week away.

The county clerk said ElectionSource, the vendor used for election results since November 2017, has not completed fixes to its web-based reporting system.

"Less than a few days before the election, ElectionSource has not completed the improvements and at this late juncture we are not going to utilize something that we haven’t been able to thoroughly test,” said Wayne County Clerk Cathy Garrett.

Garrett said in a statement Thursday that the county elections staff has been "working diligently with the web-based reporting vendor, ElectionSource, to prepare for a seamless night of web-based reporting on November 6, 2018."

Wayne County began using ElectionSource in May 2017 . A glitch in the vendor's software resulted after the website received more data than ElectionSource anticipated, county and ElectionSource officials said. 

A website glitch prevented Wayne County primary election results to be known.

The stall resulted in reporting fluctuations before Garrett instructed Electionsource to take their web-based reporting offline, the county said. The county also said the web-based results had no correlation to the unofficial tabulated results received by the Wayne County Elections Division.

Garrett said the vendor has not corrected its system and they will not use web-based reporting forTuesday's election. 

“I’d rather have accuracy than a glossy presentation," Garrett said in a statement. "An interactive web-based results page won’t matter if the information isn’t timely or properly displayed."

Jewel Ware, Wayne County Commission vice chair pro tempore called for an investigation into the system, saying in August that the glitch was "extremely problematic as the voting process should be error free as well as voters should know the process is without issues.”

In a statement Friday, Ware said she supports the decision to part ways with the software company. “I am in favor of making this change now, but we still need to look at a long term solution for future elections,” she said.

Wayne County Elections Division previously created PDF reports, which were uploaded to the Wayne County Clerk's website. 

"This is a much less interactive method for viewing results by the public, but it is the only method available to Wayne County at this time," said a county press release.

Results summaries on election night can be found at the link for Wayne County’s Unofficial Elections: www.waynecounty.com/elected/clerk/election-results.aspx.

Twitter: @SarahRahal_