ATLANTA - Election night turned into election morning thanks in part to an issue at the Fulton County elections preparation center and now the state is opening an investigation into the problem.
Elections officials said a rare error occurred when there was an issue uploading one of the memory cards which caused a delay in counting the votes.
"A packet of data from the City of Roswell runoff election, into the congressional election," is what Fulton County Director of Registration and Elections Richard Barron said was the problem.
Fulton County election officials were running three databases Tuesday for the three elections within the county. Barron said they had never dealt with this error before and they worked with their experts at Kennesaw State University throughout the night to solve the issue.
The issue happened around 9:20 p.m. and stalled the vote count for several hours, well past the time DeKalb and Cobb counties had all of their votes counted.
The total percentages were posted just after two Wednesday morning.
The state has since announced an investigation into the way Fulton County handled this election.
"This is user error, not an equipment malfunction, and Fulton officials are ultimately responsible for the error. We have opened a formal investigation, and we will continue to gather the facts to find out exactly why this failure in training and basic procedure occurred," said Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp in a statement to FOX 5.
Barron said he agrees it was their responsibility, but also faults the software the state is using, adding that it is more than 15 years old.
"As soon as that card goes in, if we weren't using year 2000 software that would have been caught right then and there as soon as the user stuck it in," said Barron. "I do not find it defensible to keep defending year 2000 software."
Due to the various elections in Fulton County, Barron said they were uploading about 600 cards from 60 different precincts throughout the night. The state said election officials followed "inappropriate procedure" because they uploaded too many cards at once, instead of in small batches like DeKalb and Cobb Counties. Barron said that is "patently false."
The state said their equipment works well and it is tested thoroughly.