The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

15 March 2007

Which is a problem only if people vote

SOE Software of Tampa was hired to develop a Web site for the Elections Office of Palm Beach County, Florida, at a cost that would make your (or at least my) nose bleed.

How did they do in the recent municipal elections? Not so great:

In an effort to give the Web site a "more crisp" appearance, a column for vote totals was inadvertently made too narrow to handle four-digit numbers and cut off the crucial digit in the thousands place, said Marc Fratello, chief executive officer of SOE.

I'm in favor of improving crispness levels: one way might be to roast these people on a spit.

Note that the actual election returns were not affected:

Elections Supervisor Arthur Anderson said the problem, which was fixed by 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, affected the way information was presented on the Web site but not the integrity of the actual election results.

Although incorrect figures were posted on the Web site, correct totals later appeared on county government Channel 20 and on a handout given to reporters at about 10:15 p.m. at the county elections office.

The bad Web figures led West Palm Beach mayoral challenger Al Zucaro and his supporters to briefly celebrate what they thought was a victory over incumbent Mayor Lois Frankel by the extraordinarily low vote total of 721 to 518.

A few minutes later, the Web site was updated to show Frankel winning handily with 6,518 votes to Zucaro's 4,721.

Then again, what's 10,000 votes in Palm Beach County?

(Via Purple Avenger.)

Posted at 3:24 PM to PEBKAC