- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota political junkies scrambling to get primary election results Tuesday night suffered a case of now you see them, now you don’t as a computer glitch confused the numbers.

A snafu in the state’s election website had supporters at a party for Fargo’s mayor and deputy mayor refreshing their smartphones and laptops for most of the evening, with only limited results.

At one point Tuesday evening, the numbers went backward.

“We originally had 17 precincts and now we’re back to 12 precincts, so I think they’re trying to add a little drama to this,” Deputy Mayor Tim Mahoney told supporters for him and Mayor Dennis Walaker a few minutes before 10 p.m. “But unless they’re finding some dead bodies, I think we’re going to do really well.”

Secretary of State Al Jaeger said computer problems caused his agency’s website to be down sporadically shortly after the polls closed in the primary election. State information technology department servers suffered glitches that prevented results from being accessed, he said.

Jaeger said he also had problems getting on the website. The problem persisted for about an hour until the state servers were rebooted, he said.

“We will make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Jaeger told KFGO radio Wednesday morning.

Walaker, who defeated challenger Brad Wimmer by 56 to 44 percent, delivered his victory speech about 10:15 p.m., after 20 of 22 precincts had reported. By that time some of the guests, including former North Dakota Gov. George Sinner and his wife, Jane, had left the hotel.

“It will be my pleasure to be your mayor for the next four years,” Walaker told the group.

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AP writer James MacPherson in Bismarck contributed to this report.

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