Election Night Mistake Leads to Nearly 2,000 Ballots Not Counted in Indiana

A error in the tabulation of votes for Wayne County’s municipal elections meant the results released on election night didn’t include nearly 2,000 ballots that were cast early.

Those now have been added, and only one race changed, the final spot on Dublin Town Council.

Per USAToday, a mistake on election night left nearly 2,000 votes out of the tallies released by the Wayne County Clerk’s Office, an error that was discovered and corrected this week, changing the outcome for one seat on the Dublin Town Council but leaving Richmond’s results unchanged.

Wayne County Clerk Debbie Berry revealed the error Friday before the county election board certified the final results to be sent to the state. All of the 1,909 early votes cast weren’t included in the election night tallies because of a problem with fusing together reports showing the results of mailed-in absentee ballots, early voting and Election Day voting.

“The votes were there. They just weren’t in the (election night) report,” Berry said.

A representative of the county’s voting software vendor, Harp Enterprises Inc., who was on site on Election Day was responsible for bringing together the various reports to produce the final numbers. Berry said the company has taken full responsibility for the mistake.

When final results were posted on election night, it struck many as odd that only 3,999 people had voted, a historic low for a local municipal election.

“We were just as shocked as everyone else that only 4,000 people had voted,” Berry said. “We questioned it that night. From the get-go, we felt like something was off.”

It became clear there was a problem when Tara Pegg, director of the Wayne County Voter Registration Office, this week began compiling the reports necessary to certify the election with the state. The number of people who had checked in at the vote centers was significantly higher than the number of ballots cast.

“When it was discovered that we had more check-ins than votes cast, we worked with the vendor to find that the fusion process had been skipped,” Berry said.

The revised final numbers show 5,908 people voted in this month’s election, a number that’s still lower than the most recent previous elections. However, the turnout percentage (27 percent) is now in line with the range for the past four municipal elections (27-29 percent).

None of the outcomes for races in Richmond or Milton were affected by the new numbers, but the Dublin Town Council race now isn’t over just yet. There’s a tie for the fifth and final seat on the town council between Republicans Pamela Chaney and Leonard Glen Payne Sr.

This article first appeared on TheConservativeOpinion.com 

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