San Angelo Standard-Times
Electronic machines not providing all info
By Paul A. Anrthony
March 21, 2006
On orders from the Texas Secretary of State’s office, the recount for the Tom Green County Court-at-Law No. 2 race has been suspended midway through its second day.
About 1:30 p.m. today, county Republican Chairman Dennis McKerley stopped the recount after workers found discrepancies of as much as 20 percent between what was counted Monday and what was reported Election Night.
"We’re having some trouble with the electronic equipment," McKerley said.
Apparently, McKerley said, new electronic voting machines provided by vendor Hart InterCivic are not printing ballots for every vote cast on the machines. During recounts, which must be done by hand, the machines are designed to print out separate ballots for every vote.
A Hart InterCivic representative is expected to arrive Wednesday morning, McKerley said, to determine whether or how to retrieve the remaining printouts.
The problem affects early votes cast in what appears to be every precinct, McKerley said. All of commissioner’s Precinct 1 was affected, he said, as were all the randomly selected voting precincts in other parts of the county.
Although sign-in sheets match the counts provided by the machines on Election Night, he said, the number of printouts does not match the sign-in sheets.
More than 3,000 early votes were cast in the race between Assistant County Attorney Julie Hughes, incumbent Judge Penny Roberts and former prosecutor Dan Edwards, meaning the problem likely affects more than 600 votes of the 9,500 cast early and on Election Day.
Just 12 votes separate third-place finisher Edwards from second-place finisher Roberts to see who will face Hughes in the April runoff election. Edwards requested and paid for the recount.
Copyright 2006, San Angelo Standard-Times, an E.W. Scripps newspaper. All Rights Reserved.
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