Clerks at wits’ end on election transmission problems

By: 
Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

Government officials representing some of the county’s election precincts voiced their concern about the inability to electronically transfer election data to the county seat after elections and asked county commissioners to offer support in resolving the issue.

“It’s a serious issue when people can’t get election results in a timely manner,” said Gun Plain Township supervisor Mike VanDen­Berg, a member of the Allegan County Clerk’s Association. “There have been frustrations from a clerk’s standpoint since 2012, and they’re tired of the citizenry complaining about it.”

Last election, 18 of 46 precincts were unable to upload results to the county’s computer system. Sixteen of those 18 precincts use Charter Communications phone lines. The county has Frontier Communications and that’s where members of the clerk’s association believe the problem lies—not only because of the commonality, but because the connection that transmits data between the two providers is the last source yet to be checked.

While county administration has been working with the clerk’s association to pinpoint the problem, some precinct issues have been resolved by testing other equipment. However, of 31 voting units, eight or nine continue having issues. With Gun Plain Township recently switching to Charter, that possibly adds three precincts to the list.

Contact Virginia Ransbottom at vransbottom@allegannews.com.

For more on this story, pick up a copy of the April 16 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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