- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Montgomery County election officials are pledging to begin posting Tuesday’s primary results culled from new electronic touch-screen voting machines less than an hour after polls close.

But the technology, which will be used in the county and statewide for the first time next month, might delay the complete posting of all data until after midnight.

“The new security presents some challenges but we’re confident that the votes will be posted timely and accurately,” Marjorie Roher, a spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Board of Elections, said yesterday.

Ms. Roher said the first counts will appear online by 8:50 p.m. and will be updated every 20 minutes, as precincts report the results.

Polls close at 8 p.m.

Officials said the encryption of data by the new voting machines might delay the download and transmission times from seconds to minutes. Officials have been training election judges how to use the machines since June.

Montgomery County has more precincts than any other jurisdiction in the state.

“We’ve always had the majority of results in by 11 o’clock,” Ms. Roher said. “We are anticipating a slight delay in election returns this year due to additional encryption that was done to provide additional security to transmission of the votes. … We may still be posting up until midnight.”

The Montgomery County unofficial primary results can be seen at www.777vote.org or www.montgomerycountymd.gov/elections.

Official results, which include overseas, absentee and provisional ballots, will be available Sept. 25.

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