Supervisors upset over what they felt was slow vote count

Plead to go back to phone calls

— While the Essex County Board of Elections deemed the 2011 General Election a success, several supervisors were less than pleased with the speed at which they were able to get results.

County Chairman and Jay Supervisor Randall “Randy” Douglas led the conversation, saying that he felt the new system led to delays in reporting election results, which he saw as a problem.

“In this day and age, things should be faster and not slower,” Douglas said at the Nov. 14 Public Safety Committee Meeting. “How it works now is slower than what it was 20 years ago. I have been going to sites since 1976 and I can tell you that there have never been any problems with the call-ins.”

Board of Elections Republican Director Derinda Sherman said that inspectors were still getting used to reading the new voting machines, which could lead to inaccuracies on call-in results.

She also said that the state has encouraged counties and towns to stop the practice of calling in results.

“The majority of the counties throughout the county do it the way that we did it, and the state has discouraged us from making the phone calls,” Sherman said. “We had them up by 11 p.m.”

Westport Supervisor Daniel Connell said that he was able to have the results for his town within half-an-hour of the polls closing Nov. 8.

“In Westport, they had the results at 9:10 p.m.,” Connell said. “By the time I got home, my wife was home and she had the results. By 9:15 p.m., we had the results. To not be able to tell people who won the races until after midnight is crazy. The public is out there saying that this is crazy.”

Sherman said they wanted to follow the recommendations from the state.

“It’s not a legal consideration,” Sherman said. “It is recommended that we do not use the phone calling system. You knew whether you had won or not locally, but you didn’t know if another colleague had won or not.”

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