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Oakland County Taps Wireless Technology to Expedite Election Results

"We're convinced this will be the fastest Election Night reporting for a presidential election in Oakland County history," Clerk Bill Bullard said Tuesday.

Oakland County on Tuesday was set to become the second county in the United States to use wireless technology to transmit election results more quickly after the polls close.

The analog modems on vote tabulator and absentee ballot counting board machines throughout Oakland County have been upgraded with wireless cellular modems that will allow unofficial results to be transmitted from communities to the county as soon as the polls close at 8 p.m., Oakland County Clerk Bill Bullard said Tuesday.

Previously, the memory card in each vote tabulator at each precinct had to be removed manually after election workers finished their paperwork, then taken to City Hall for the results to be uploaded and transmitted to the county, Huntington Woods City Clerk Joy Solanskey explained.

She said the backup plan was to bring the cards into City Hall and upload the results as usual if there are any problems.

The wireless modems will connect to a dedicated cellular phone line to transmit the results to Oakland County, Printz said.

"The county should have the results before (poll workers) even bring them to me," she said.

The analog vote tabulator machines were purchased in 2005 using federal funds provided by the state, Bullard said. Oakland County spent $344,000 on the wireless upgrade, which was performed by Nebraska-based Election Systems & Software, he said.

"Oakland County is the leader (in Michigan)," Bullard said. "There is only one other county (nationwide) doing it."

Hennepin County in Minnesota, where Minneapolis is located, already has implemented the technology, he said.

Bullard said all of the election results will be encrypted before they are transmitted and will be unencrypted at Oakland County election headquarters.

"Even if it wasn't encrypted, after 8 p.m. we want people to know the results," he said.

"The whole point of this is to let people know the results of the election as soon as possible," Bullard said. "We're convinced this will be the fastest Election Night reporting for a presidential election in Oakland County history."

Eva November 08, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Oakland County does a great job getting the results out to the public on its website and making it very user friendly. It is amazing the information they have available. Just try to use other sites out there. Even the State of Michigan has a ridiculous format. Bravo to Oakland County elections staff!!!
Dale Murrish November 08, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I hope Lisa Brown continues the great work Bill Bullard did as our county clerk. I have serious concerns about her ability to be fair and unbiased after her attention-getting tirade to promote herself and her extreme pro-abortion views. The voices of pro-choice people were not silenced, but already heard at the ballot box, and pro-life representatives were elected in the majority of districts statewide. Pro-life is now a majority view, pro-choice is getting smaller, and extreme pro-abortion is growing increasingly shrill as they dig in their heels to oppose any reasonable restriction on a woman’s “right to choose” what she does with someone else’s body: her baby. Reproductive “health care” for all, regardless of ability to pay (tax-funded Medicaid) is now a part of the Democratic Party platform. Now the Obama administration is even forcing Catholics and others with moral objections to pay for abortifacient drugs like RU-486 “for the greater good.” It is both tragic and nauseating that America has sunk to this lack of basic respect. http://troy.patch.com/blog_posts/joe-the-scoffer-vs-paul-the-planner http://troy.patch.com/blog_posts/freedom-of-conscience-the-foundational-freedom
Glenn November 08, 2012 at 11:28 PM
As is typical, Dale only tells part of the story to try to steer the reader towards his way of thinking. The studies Dale is most likely referring to stated that while approximately 50% of Americans consider themselves pro-life, 89% of Americans (and 82% percent of Catholics) believe that contraception is "morally acceptable". In addition, When it comes to abortion, the percentages that believe abortion should be legal under at least some circumstances hasn't been changing very much since Gallup started asking the question back in 1975. 77% of Americans still believe abortion should be legal under certain circumstances. http://reason.com/blog/2012/05/24/record-low-are-pro-choice-yet-75-percent As always, all the information often tells a very different story than the selective information that Dale likes to provide.
Dave W November 08, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Congratulations to Oakland County for being a pioneer in this area
Dave W November 08, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Very true Glenn. 77% of Americans still believe abortion should be legal under certain circumstances, which technically makes them pro-choice, even if they self-identify as pro-life. Based on the most recent Gallup poll: "Since 2001, at least half of Americans have consistently chosen the middle position, saying abortion should be legal under certain circumstances, and the 52% saying this today is similar to the 50% in May 2011. The 25% currently wanting abortion to be legal in all cases and the 20% in favor of making it illegal in all cases are also similar to last year's findings." http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/05/many-pro-life-americans-dont-want-outlaw-abortion Dale, you are actually in the minority on this one as part of the 20%. I consider myself pro-life, as in I don't find it morally acceptable, but I'm technically pro-choice since I wouldn't force my moral beliefs upon another person. Apparently, 77% of people tend to agree with that position. Also, for Lisa Brown, she was pointing to the fact that her religion does not force a woman to carry to term if it endangers the life of the mother. In fact, their religion advocates abortion in such cases. She then asked why the MI State House has an interest in her vagina, an anatomically correct word. And again, Catholics are not being forced to pay for contraception, but that the option is available in the insurance coverage. Whether people take advantage of that coverage is then up to them.
Glenn November 08, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Since the prime responsibility of a county clerk is to file vital records of residents. including birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce records and certificates of death, I fail to see what her position on abortion and contraception has to do with anything other than a transparent attempt at character assassination by Dale. I thought you said that you didn't believe in those kinds of political tactics Dale. Were you lying when you said that or have you just decided to lower your high moral standards?
Dale Murrish November 10, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Glenn and Dave, I'm OK with people having a different point of view on abortion. I'm not OK with the pro-life viewpoint being disrespected as Joe Biden did in the debate with Paul Ryan and the Obama administration has done by forcing people to violate their conscience. That crosses the line for me. http://troy.patch.com/blog_posts/freedom-of-conscience-the-foundational-freedom I am not doing a character assassination on Lisa Brown, just questioning her logic and whether her extreme pro-abortion views will allow her to respect the other point of view when it comes to administering the law and assuring fair elections. I voted for Bill Bullard for that reason.

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