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New Onondaga County election software will break results down by neighborhood

Ellen Abbott
Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says new technology on the Onondaga County Board of Elections website will break down voting results geographically.

The Onondaga County Board of Elections is unveiling some new software for Election Day that will allow website visitors to look at vote totals as they come in by geographic location. Democratic Elections Commissioner Dustin Czarny says it’s something voters have never had access to before on election night.

"The voters will know how their neighborhoods have voted and they can see how their individual vote matters," Czarny said.   

Up until now, if you wanted to know election results on election night the Onondaga County Elections Board website would offer vote totals for each candidate with the percentage of precincts reporting. That could be misleading if say a Democratic countywide candidate was ahead, but only the predominantly Democratic city of Syracuse had its vote totals in.

“There may be 80 percent in, but you know the City of Syracuse is in and you can kind of understand how the voters voted, why they chose what they chose and accept it in a quicker way, I think,” Czarny said.

The new software on the county’s web page changes all that. It adds a map to the totals, which color codes each candidate and allows visitors to see who won each precinct, according to Czarny. 

"What’s great about this -- it will populate as results come in,” Czarny said. "So these are gray and you will see on election night -- when we start populating the fields - what results are actually in."

According to Czarny, it’s a great tool for political campaigns because it allows a candidate to get a better sense of vote results, and be able to devise a strategy earlier. The new software will also help the county by taking election results off the county’s mainframe, as well as using more updated technology when it comes to certifying elections. The one thing it won’t do is get election results in faster, Czarny said.

"It’s technically faster in our upload than our previous system…but we still have to physically drive the chips and the cards to the board of election, because we have no internet access on our machines by design, so we can keep them secure. So we’re still going to be looking at getting results in at 10:00, 10:30,” Czarny said.

The information and maps can be found on the Onondaga County Board of Elections website under the “click to view results” tab.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.