OLYMPIA, Wash. — King County was one of the 38 Washington counties that took part in Tuesday's special election.
While the county had no issues reporting the results on its own website, it ran into trouble loading the results into the Secretary of State's website.
Assistant Secretary of State Mark Neary said the issue was with a new election night reporting tool, VoteWA, that was rolled out for the first time.
"Specifically, I believe the issue that came with King County is they actually had commas in their file," said Neary. "The system wasn't tested to see how it handled commas."
Part of the goal of VoteWA is to have all election information on an easy-to-use site with the ability to drill into the details of races.
But last night, another challenge involved undervotes and overvotes. An undervote is a ballot not counted because of an unclear marking by the voter. An overvote occurs when an elector casts more votes in a contest than is allowed.
"When you look at the actual results, that should not be included within these totals," said Neary."So last night, when we first put it up, we were actually presenting undervotes and overvotes as they came in from those tabulation machines. We've actually pulled that information off because it is confusing, and it can create some questions about how do you calculate the percentages that are there."
Neary said even with the challenges, he doesn't think anything went wrong with the new election night reporting tool.
"I wouldn't classify it as wrong. Did we learn some lessons as to the process? Did we gain more experience in utilizing the application? Absolutely," he said.
Neary said the Secretary of State's Office is ready for March 10, which is Washington's Presidential Primary.