Local News

Story published: 08-20-2014 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Overall election operation on Aug. 7 deemed successful by commission

By Karen Sells
Assistant Editor

Other than a minor glitch caused by a user error on one of the voting machines, Administrator of Elections Maybell Stewart said the Aug. 7 County Election ran smoothly.

“We didn’t really have any problems,” she said. “It was a bigger turnout than usual, and that’s good.”

Almost 10,000 votes were cast on Election Day, bringing the total to 17,927 with absentee and early votes included. The number represents a voter turnout of 29 percent.

The machine that was closed at the Henry Johnson Elementary School Precinct was the result of an operator error, according to Stewart. “The machine was set for the wrong house district, but we decided not to put anyone else in and closed the machine,” she said.

While instructions on setting the machines were covered in the training, Stewart said the Election Office will review the process to determine additional measures that will further prepare the workers.

“This is not unique to Washington County,” she said. “When people only do this job every other year, and there are always new workers, a mistake can happen.”

Of the 40 voting precincts in the county, Henry Johnson is one of the eight split precincts that are used by residents of the 6th and 7th state representative districts.

There is a possibility some votes were cast in the wrong district on Aug. 7 at that location, but Stewart said last week the tapes from the machines that serve as a backup of the results have not been reviewed yet.

As far as the operation of the Micro Vote machines, one of which was responsible for an incorrect posting on the Election Commission website of 6th District county commission winners in the May 6 Republican Primary, Stewart said there were no problems.

“The machines worked great,” she said, adding she has received no complaints regarding the mistake made at Henry Johnson.

The Washington County Election Commission will meet Monday, Aug. 25, at 1 p.m. to certify the election results.