Processing issues on election night prompt Salt River Project’s first-ever ballot recount

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

After an election night software snafu last week, SRP officials voted Monday to recount the votes for the public utility’s board of directors.

The low-key elections occur every two years, allowing land owners in the SRP territory to select who serves as president, vice president and as board members for the public utility.

As SRP officials scanned ballots April 5, the company’s election day, the scanning software hit a limit for how many ballots it could process.

This happened at about 8:45 p.m., near the time SRP had hoped to publish results of the vote. But instead, SRP had to call in a representative from the software company, which it identified as TeleForm, to reset the software to allow it to continue scanning.

At the time of the problem, SRP had fewer than 100 ballots left to scan out of nearly 7,000 ballots cast. SRP officials said the scanning software is separate from the software that counts the acreage-based votes.

SRP’s unusual elections:Salt River Project election to draw thousands of voters to choose water, power leaders

The problem was resolved around 11 p.m., according to Steve Neil, the lone SRP customer who served as an observer that evening.

SRP’s top election official said he had no concerns with the results.

“I am 100% confident as the corporate secretary in conversation with our software engineers and our election staff those are accurate results,” SRP Corporate Secretary John Felty told the board Monday.

But SRP elections are acreage-based, so one person’s ballot can represent many votes, depending how many acres they own.

And the election was close.

One board seat was within 20 votes. Another down-ballot race was within 12 votes.

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