Poor Cellular Service Delays Century Vote Totals

November 13, 2016

Update 9 a.m. Monday: The Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office said Monday morning that the voting machine modems actually use Sprint.

Update 6 p.m. Sunday: The Escambia County Supervisor of Elections Office said late Sunday afternoon that the voting machine modems use Verizon.

When the polls closed Tuesday in Escambia County, the votes totals from nearly 80 precincts were available quickly from the Escambia County Supervisor of Elections website — except Century due to poor cellular service.

The voting machines use cellular modem to transmit encrypted information back to the Supervisor of Elections Office. But with poor cellular coverage at the Century, it was a no go getting a cellular connection inside the Century Town Hall. Elections officials even rolled the machine into the parking lot, trying different spots to get a quality cellular connection. But their efforts failed.

The machines store vote totals on an encrypted “data stick” (think USB thumb drive). The data stick was, under the guard of a Sheriff’s deputy, driven to the Molino precinct with better cellular coverage for transmission.

Finals tallies were also printed from the Century machine. The ballots themselves remained locked and sealed inside the machine.

Escambia County Supervisor of Elections David Stafford, speaking through a public information officer, declined to identity which cellular company’s service the voting machines use.

Pictured top: Elections officials attempting to find a spot with good cellular service in the Century Town Hall parking lot. Pictured inset: The Century precinct voting machine is rolled outside Tuesday night. NorthEscambia.com photos, click to enlarge.


8 Responses to “Poor Cellular Service Delays Century Vote Totals”

  1. Duke of Wawbeek on November 14th, 2016 9:45 am

    Hillary would have lost anyway…

  2. Tywona on November 14th, 2016 9:17 am

    I’m in Cottage Hill and my Verizon has been really bad for a few month. Something changed. I use to be able to talk all over my House and now we have to go outside. I have always been able to talk in my home. What’s up Verizon??

  3. Marshall on November 14th, 2016 12:49 am

    Verizon has issues in a lot of places. I get slow speeds and broken audio on calls around Tate High School. Verizon has submitted 5 tickets from my complaints and not fixed yet. So its not just Century…

  4. eyeswideopen on November 13th, 2016 11:04 pm

    Verizon needs a tower on Hwy. 97 Pilgrim Trail/Dogwood Park Area, Molino. My phone doesn’t work in certain parts of my yard. Even when you connect you can’t have a conversation most times. Blank spots up and down Hwy.97 and Hwy. 29. This day and time no reason Century should not have cellular service. We are paying high $ for hardly any use of these cell phones. They know we are between a rock and a hard place. Thanks Verizon!

  5. Bob C. on November 13th, 2016 9:42 am

    I Call Out the Supervisor of Elections, Mr. Stafford, to publicly identify the cellular service which failed the voters of Century.

  6. Willis on November 13th, 2016 9:02 am

    Yes we have problems with Verizon in the North End of the county , but they are better than Sprint ever was.
    Problem is they don’t care if service is still poor either.

  7. Transparency on November 13th, 2016 8:33 am

    I imagine it will take northescambia.com less than an hour to figure out which cell company this was. Its public record, why would he decline to identify. Several other county agencies are using Verizon in the north end and they have serious antenna issues on towers that they will not confirm.

  8. Concerned on November 13th, 2016 8:13 am

    Cellular connection in Century apparently has always been a problem. From Hwy 4 past Stone Lake to Hwy 29 poor service and from Century Fire Department until Flomaton poor service, then from E Hwy 4 past the Escambia River Bridge leading into Jay. We have had both Verison & AT&T. Maybe updated towers are needed.

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