Website glitch stalls Wayne County election results

Nicquel Terry Ellis
The Detroit News
A website glitch prevented Wayne County primary election results to be known.

Wayne County, and the company that handles election results reporting for it, agree that a glitch in the vendor's software has caused a delay in results from Tuesday's primary election, after "the website received more data than ElectionSource anticipated." 

"To our disappointment, the election server did not meet our standard of efficiency for the August Primary Election results," said Wayne County Clark Cathy Garrett in a statement. 

County election staff, the statement said, had "worked extensively" to see that the transition to ElectionSource would go smoothly. But as of Wednesday morning, complete Wayne County election results still were not available via either the county website or ElectionSource, whose website produced an error message: "We are experiencing some issues currently with the website. Please check back at a later time."

Read more:Michigan primary sets modern record for total votes

Jeffrey DeLongchamp, president of the Grand Rapids-based ElectionSource, says the file containing Wayne County results was so large that it caused a 15-second delay in processing old and new data. This caused results to be doubled at times, he said. 

DeLongchamp said his team resolved the issue and as of 1:15 a.m. Wednesday he was waiting for Wayne County to give him permission to reload the election results. 

"There were so many hits and so many people trying to scrape the site at the same time that we could not load the data correctly," DeLongchamp said. "It was an error that unfortunately we did not foresee."

Wayne County spokeswoman Lisa Williams-Jackson told The Detroit News in an email early Wednesday that the issue was with the vendor's server and web display, "which was causing reporting fluctuations."

"There is nothing wrong with the ballot tabulations," Williams-Jackson wrote in an email, adding the county is now uploading election results on its website under "Unofficial Summary Reports."

Elisa Gurule and Chris D'Angelo, both of Grosse Pointe Park, get their primary election ballots from election inspector Ann Baxter at Trombly School in Grosse Pointe Park on Tuesday

DeLongchamp said Election Source has helped Wayne County report its election results since last November's election. The company also reports results for other counties in Michigan including Ingham, Isabella and Kent.

He said he doesn't foresee this glitch recurring this November. 

Former Michigan Democratic Party head Mark Brewer took to Twitter early Wednesday to criticize the county’s handling of the election tabulations. 

“The incompetence of the Wayne County Clerk’s office in election after election is appalling and unacceptable; how can any voter have confidence that his or her vote is counted and reported accurately with such bumbling?” Brewer, an election lawyer, wrote on Twitter.