Supervisor of elections for Palm Beach County, Susan Bucher
© Michele Eve Sandberg/AFP/Getty Images
Supervisor of elections for Palm Beach County, Susan Bucher
The supplier of Palm Beach County's voting and tabulating equipment says a software "shortcoming" led to votes being assigned to the wrong candidates and the elections office declaring the wrong winners in two recent Wellington council races.

County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher, who insisted a computer glitch rather than human error was to blame for the fiasco, claimed vindication after Dominion Voting Systems released its statement.

Wellington and 15 other municipalities held elections on March 13. In Wellington, the ballot was set up with the mayor's race first, the Seat 1 council race second and the Seat 4 council race third.

Unbeknownst to elections officials, the vote totals for the mayor's race ended up being reported and later certified as the results of the Seat 1 race. The Seat 1 vote totals were certified as the Seat 4 results and the Seat 4 vote totals were certified as the mayoral results.

The problem wasn't discovered until six days after the election, during a routine audit. The audit found no similar problems in the 15 other cities that held elections.

The fact that the audit is conducted after winners are certified is a requirement of state law. Bucher said her office "will be working with the state to ask for the necessary law changes."

Comment: Should be standard practice. Note too, that Florida was able to complete its 2020 election count in a timely fashion. What else are they doing right?

Wellington Seat 1 candidate Shauna Hostetler and Seat 4 candidate Al Paglia were originally certified to the state as winners, but the post-election audit totals show John Greene and incumbent Matt Willhite got more votes.

Wellington's canvassing board threw out the original results this week and the council is expected to decide how to handle the situation Tuesday night.

Dominion Voting Systems issued a statement this afternoon from Waldeep Singh, a vice president of customer relations.

"The incorrect reporting of vote totals which occurred in the Wellington election was caused by a mismatch between the software which generates the paper ballots and the central tally system," Singh's statement says.

"This synchronization difficulty is a shortcoming of the version of software currently being used in Palm Beach County and that shortcoming has been addressed in a subsequent version of the software. These enhancements help to prevent such an anomaly from occurring in the future. Dominion is in the process of providing this newer version to Palm Beach County."

Singh did not return a phone call requesting additional comment.

Bucher has been in negotiations with Dominion to buy new software, but she said the upgraded software would not have been available for the March 13 elections because it has not yet been certified by the state Division of Elections.