10 November 2005

Computer Glitch Delays Norwalk Election Results

November 10, 2005

NORWALK, Conn. -- A computer glitch delayed results in the Norwalk mayor's race until Wednesday morning.

City election officials decided around 10 p.m. on Tuesday that they had to recount more than 600 absentee ballots by hand because the optical scan machine had not counted them properly.

Andy Garfunkel, the town clerk, said the machine mistakenly combined ballots from two polling districts. State law requires that absentee ballots be reported for each precinct. Workers counted ballots until 2 a.m. Wednesday and returned later in the morning to finish. In the end, Republican Richard Moccia defeated incumbent Democratic Mayor Alex Knopp 8,259 to 8,083.

A state police officer escorted the election monitor to the Bridgeport state police barracks, where the ballots were due to the state by 4 p.m., Garfunkel said.

Despite the glitch, Garfunkel said he thinks the optical scan machines work well. The state could soon buy more of the machines as it replaces the old lever voting machines.

"It works for us if you get the kinks out," he said. "You have to refine the system."


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