by Guy Page
The Vermont Secretary of State’s office announced this morning that the 2022 Statewide and Federal Primary Election Canvass will be delayed.
This afternoon, Secretary of State Jim Condos told reporters his office expects the problem fixed by Friday. Software vendor Civix has been working non-stop to resolve the problem, which was caused when state vote canvassing software failed to correctly assign votes where a Chittenden County Senate district crossed the boundary line of a House district.
There is no doubt about vote totals gathered at local polls, only about the process of their assimilation into the final, state-certified vote count, Condos said.
The election was held Tuesday, August 9 – one week ago. Since the evening of the primary, the Senate tab on the SOS Election Night Results page has been blank. SOS has blamed the tech problem on the every-10-years legislative redistricting, which passed the Legislature in May.
The problem isn’t at the Town and County clerk level. Those voting figures have been submitted to the Vermont Secretary of State. The problem is a software snafu at the state level.
The office’s priority is ensuring all vote reports certified as official precisely match the official return of votes as submitted by the Town and City Clerks, SOS spokesperson Eric Covey said. To date, the state’s contractor has been unable to resolve an administrative technology issue impacting the office’s ability to generate reports based on the official return of votes submitted by Town and City Clerks, Covey said.
The canvassing was scheduled for 10 am today.
The software problem is in no way connected to the replacement of computer chips in all Vermont vote tabulators, Condos said. The tabulators worked flawlessly, he added.
Office staff continue to work around the clock with the state’s software contractor to identify a solution and produce reports based on the official return of votes submitted by the Clerks.
“It is important to note that this process is separate and distinct from the official counting of ballots and the local certification of official results by the Town Clerks,” Covey said. “The Secretary of State’s office wants to assure the public that these administrative delays do not impact the 100% confidence we have in the accuracy of the vote totals for all candidates as reported by the Town Clerks.”
The Secretary of State’s mission is to provide a secure and accurate election, Covey said. The office will always default to a delay to ensure integrity and confidence of the results when they are certified.
The canvassing process is a careful and deliberate process defined in statute. There are numerous checks to ensure that the canvassed results accurately match the will of Vermont voters as reported by the Town Clerks.