Election results for the Tuesday, May 6 primary will be posted on the Haywood County website (www.haywoodnc.net) and HCTV, the Haywood County Government Access Channel, and updated throughout the evening. Election officials hope to start posting results shortly after 8 p.m.
“If all goes well, we will read and report Absentee By Mail ballots first, then One-Stop Voting results for both Waynesville and Canton and our goal is to have that done by 8 p.m.,” said Robert Inman, director of the Haywood County Board of Elections. “Obviously, there is always the possibility that issues will arise that require a decision from the Board of Elections before the results can be released, but we’ve been working hard for weeks to make sure we can release precinct results as soon as possible after the poll workers arrive from the polls and the data is uploaded to our computers.”
Both the county website and HCTV will be linked to a new online web-based Election Night Reporting tool provided by the N. C. State Board of Elections. The web interface provides visitors with both text and graphical views of election results for county and statewide elections.
Once the precinct polling locations have closed and the results have been delivered to the Board of Elections, county staff will upload unofficial precinct results to ENR. The state aggregates the results and then begins reporting results to the public via the ENR tool. Updates occur throughout the night until all counties have reported all unofficial totals.
Computer users will be presented with a breakdown of votes received for a candidate by contest and totals by vote type. Maps are expected to be available to illustrate the counties or precincts reporting, voter turnout, and results by county or precinct. A reporting area allows for interactive report creation and the ability to download detailed reports from any computer connected to the internet.
For those who view the Election Night Reporting tool on HCTV, each contest on the Haywood County ballot will be displayed on slides that will change about every 10 seconds. HCTV is available on Channel 11 on the Charter Communications cable system and Channel 2 on the Carolina Mountain cable system
The next few days will be a flurry of activity as the Haywood County Board of Elections and more than 150 volunteers, most of them poll workers, make last minute preparations for the primary election.
Between now and Tuesday, Inman and his staff are working to complete final poll worker training, prepare voter machines for delivery to the polling places, finalize the Absentee by Mail process, and close out One-Stop Early Voting, which ends at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 3. In addition, the county’s Information Technology staff has been working closely with the Board of Elections to make sure the voting machines and other computer applications are working and ready.
Most of that responsibility has fallen to Andy Long, who was hired as Elections System Administrator for the Information Technology Department last year; and Jeremy Fish, who typically serves as the computer technician for the Haywood County Public Library. Fish has been on loan from the library to oversee the One Stop Voting location at the Canton Library.
“Andy and Jeremy have been working exclusively with Elections for the past month,” said Kristy Wood, Information Technology Director. “They’ve spent a great deal of time testing the electronic voting machines, responding to directions from the State Board of Elections and assisting with various technical duties in the elections office.”
Wood said the whole IT staff will be ready to step in to help if needed to make sure things run smoothly on Election Day. Other staff members include Jonathan Rowland and Rebecca McClure.
This will be the fourth election using new voting machines funded by the state in 2006 and Inman said he believes the machines are serving Haywood County voters well.
“The new voting equipment has made it much easier to vote for our physically challenged citizens and they also provide more flexibility for people who need to make changes to their ballot while they’re still in the process of voting,” Inman said. “These machines allow voters to review the ballot before it is cast and also brings to their attention any contest that may have been overlooked.”
Inman said the machines have also greatly increased the accuracy of election night reporting. Though the data from each precinct must now be delivered to the Board of Elections as opposed to calling it in, he dismisses the idea that it takes longer to get results.
“The results on election nights prior to the new equipment were preliminary at best and were called in and transcribed by hand, then released as unofficial,” Inman said. “Compliance with the Help America Vote Act, as well as changes in laws related to Curbside and One-Stop Voting, require a more accurate and uniform method of reporting results and that’s what we have with the new machines.”
The Board of Elections has provided additional voting machines in anticipation of a high voter turnout, but Inman said some voters may still experience some long lines.
“We have more voting machines in precincts than we’ve ever had, but several of our precincts have serious space limitations, so that may lead to some waiting.” Inman said.
For questions about voting or the May 6 primary, please contact the Haywood County Board of Elections at 452-6633 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
For more information, contact:
David Teague, Public Information Officer
828-452-7305; 828-400-9691 or