Election board recanvasses ballots after finding discrepancies

Published: Nov. 14, 2019 at 11:28 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The St. Joseph County Election Board, along with its attorney and election consultants, recanvassed ballots after finding discrepancies in the number of ballots cast.

They noticed a 41-ballot difference and found discrepancies in 32 polling places.

"So, this is just giving us a little more breathing room, since there weren't that many discrepancies. It wasn't affecting any races. It was sporadic all over," St. Joseph Circuit Court Clerk Rita Glenn said.

Glenn said it could have been a lot worse, making clear the recanvass will not impact election results.

Here is what happened:

They said there were no issues with the election equipment itself; rather, the majority of issues came from ballot jams.

When there is a jam, the machine will give a message to poll workers saying "ballot cast," so that would have meant not to reinsert the ballot.

The board chair said some poll workers probably misunderstood the message and may have reinserted the paper, counting it twice.

"At the end of the day, this is a human process. Even though we have equipment, it is only as good as the data that we input. So, the positive thing is, No. 1, we have the ability to double-check Election Day results with the equipment we have available," said Catherine Fanello, the chair of the election board.

"We are just taking it as a good opportunity to go ahead and do what we are supposed to do by law, which is an audit before we go ahead and send our certification to the state tomorrow," Glenn said.

They spent all day Thursday making sure every vote was counted.

"This is the great thing about having a paper backup, is that we can run the paper again, to double-check," Fanello said.

They also made clear that the majority of poll workers did everything right.

The board said it will do more training next year, both on the machines and understanding voter privacy.