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August 17, 2010 at 10:12 PM

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Washington election returns crash state computers

Posted by Jack Broom

The Secretary of State's election website malfunctioned for much of the night Tuesday, causing frustration for news agencies, election officials and members of the public.

In a news release, Shane Hamlin, assistant state elections director, said, "The servers that receive and display county election results are simply overwhelmed . . . Our entire technical team is working with experts from Microsoft to identify a programming error and to make the necessary fixes."

Hamlin said the computer server system was unable to keep up with the amount of data being sent from county election offices and the heavy volume of online traffic from visitors to the state election site.

State Elections Director Nick Handy said that including more than 13,000 precinct committee officer races added to the problem. "Access at times has been extremely slow and intermittent, or people have not been able to get into the system at all . . . We regret the inconvenience and will update as soon as possible."

The site was back in working order about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
Covers the Eastside.

Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Covers local government.

Mike Lindblom
Covers transportation.

Kyung Song
Covers politics and regional issues from Washington, D.C.

Lynn Thompson
Covers Seattle City Hall.

Bob Young
Covers King County and urban affairs.