KBTV 4 TV Hometown News
( Air Date: 3/13/2006 )
Jefferson County election officials worked more than six hours Monday night recounting each vote cast in the Primary Election last week. On Friday, election officials noticed a discrepancy during a manual count of precincts randomly selected by the Secretary of State’s Office.
According to Jefferson County Clerk Carolyn Guidry, about 5,000 votes were counted twice. Guidry believes that on March 7th, the on-site technical supervisor provided by ES&S, the company that manufactures the new electronic voting machines, did not know how to handle a problem that arose with one of the counting machines.
“This was not a malfunction of the equipment,” said Guidry. “This was a human error, and the support that we requested and that we paid for [from] ES&S was just not delivered by that company.”
At the request and agreement of the Jefferson County chairman of both the Democratic and Republican parties, the recount was permitted.
Final votes were released just before 10:30pm Monday. Although the numbers changed, the winners did not. KBTV-4 was the only local news outlet to broadcast the recount results as they were being counted—updating our viewers throughout the night and during Hometown News at 6 and 10.
The extra 5,000 votes had potential to change the victors of several races, including the Democratic nominee for County Judge.
Just before officials began recounting, the winner of Tuesday’s Primary Election, Ron Walker, told KBTV-4 that “whatever happens, happens.” The defeated incumbent, Carl Griffith said that he just wanted “to make sure that we had a fair election.”
The recount was paid for by the ES&S. Guidry said that she believes it will cost the company approximately $8,000.
Guidry wants to have her staffed technically trained on the electronic voting machines so that they will not be so dependent on ES&S.
A spokesperson for ES&S was not at the recount for comment.
Recount Results on the Web: www.kbtv4.tv/election.asp
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