Overload causes technical difficulties during early voting

Overload causes issues for early voters.

BOISE - If you participated in early voting in Idaho, you may have gotten an error message or experienced other technical difficulties when checking in. But why?

"Numbers were huge, turnout was huge," said Phil McGrane with the Ada County Clerk's Office. "We had over an hour wait at every location at some point in time."

While early voting numbers broke records across the state, it caused major delays and even some technical difficulties with the state's database system.

"It basically overloaded our system," said Chief Deputy Secretary of State Tim Hurst. "It was just sized too small and we identified that."

McGrane says when poll workers would type a voter's name to make sure they were registered and that they weren't voting twice, it could seconds to load. On the other hand...

"Other people it may take as many as five minutes for that same transaction to occur," said McGrane.

VOTER GUIDE: What you need to know for Election Day

Rodney Busbee experienced firsthand these system glitches. When he tried to vote he was surprised at what the poll worker told him. 

"She said I was ineligible to to vote this election," said Busbee.

Busbee says he voted at that same address for the past three elections. 

"I was surprised when that happened and then I was surprised when they said it had been happening throughout the day," said Busbee.

But five minutes later, Busbee was able to start checking his ballot boxes.

"Nobody got turned away, everybody who appeared to vote could vote," said Hurst. 

"Had I not been able to vote for some reason then I would've definitely been wondering what was going on," said Busbee.

The technical difficulties led to community concern regarding a topic we've all heard throughout the presidential election - voter fraud and ballot security.

"No one can see our system from the outside so there's no conspiracy," said Hurst. "It was just too small of a system to handle the load."

"We never processed anybody that we shouldn't, we didn't speed up the process unnecessarily and we still ensured that the same security checks were in place," said McGrane.

Officials say the database system which is owned by the state that was used during early voting and experienced delays will not be used on Election Day.

That system is separate from the machines owned by each of the counties that are used to cast, scan and count the ballots. That's why they don't anticipate these same issues although they're still expecting a large turnout on Tuesday.

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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