Remember the March primary in Cook County? Report points fingers at clerk and vendor

We wrote a number of essays about problems in the March 2006 primary in Cook County. A review committee has produced a report (which I’m not seen yet), which according to this story in the Chicago Tribune, says both the Cook County Clerk David Orr and the Sequoia Voting Systems (the vendor) are to blame for the problems:

The group’s findings, documented in a 29-page report obtained by the Tribune, suggest that much work is needed if similar problems are to be prevented in the February and April municipal elections.

“Although technology problems occurring on Election Night constituted the primary cause of the reporting delays, operational shortcomings in the process leading up to Election Day also played a role in failing to understand and thus mitigate the risks,” the report said.

The report dealt only with issues experienced in suburban Cook County. Chicago had plenty of its own voting problems, but the city’s election officials built a more effective backup system to handle traffic when roughly half of the precincts were unable to wirelessly transmit results.

“The overall system was put together in a way that has not been tested for an election that is the scale of Cook County,” said panel member Xiaoping Jia, a software engineering professor at DePaul University. “A lot of failure occurred.”