State Elections Board Nominations Lost
Madison, WI - After running nearly 273% over budget, the Wisconsin State Elections Board finally implemented its new Wisconsin Electronic File system, known as "WE-File," just in time for the deluge of candidates registering for the November 2006 General Election.
The day started out smoothly, with computer consoles setup in the hallway outside the Elections Board, allowing candidates to register by computer and reducing wait times to under 3 minutes. The only excitement of the morning came when State Representative Mark Pocan stood in line unnecessarily at the main counter for over 30 minutes after refusing to file electronically. According to Pocan's office, it was intended as a protest against the Elections Board's refusal to create a countable and verifiable paper receipt for electronic filing.
In a twist of fate, at approximately 2:50pm, the Elections Board experienced a catastrophic crash of its computer system, complete with fried hard drives and destroyed backups. All candidacy filings appear to have been lost with little hope of recovery. IT teams have begun to retrieve some numbers, but it is unclear why the computers are showing signature counts for candidates in the tens of thousands. Many have already begun to speculate what kind of a blow this deals to the Elections Board assertions that using computers to keep accurate counts would be both "air tight" and "foolproof."
As of 4:40 p.m., only 20 minutes before the filing deadline, Mark Pocan appears to be the only individual the Elections Board has registered for the Fall General Election.
Updates will follow as more information becomes available.