Second Count Election Results Released - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/12/04

Second Count Election Results Released

On Tuesday, the computers that tabulate votes for Lubbock county totally ignored the Precinct 8 Democratic Chair race between Alice Hernandez and Jimmie Settler. The second count though went much smoother according the Elections Administrator Dorothy Kennedy. It revealed Hernandez won over Settler 73% to 27%.

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In light of the recent election glitch though, officials want everyone to rest assured the election process is secure and efficient. Kennedy says, "We discovered there was one race there were no votes counted on and it just looked rather suspicious to us because you at least figure each of the candidates will vote for themselves." Kennedy, says it was her office's internal system of checks and balances that caught a tally mistake after Tuesday's election.

It turns out a programming error within the ballot counting machines was to blame. Kennedy explains, "We called our software company. They looked in their files and called us back a little while later and said we made a 'boo boo' here. We didn't program this correctly." The software company, ES&S out of Nebraska, over-nighted the software necessary to correct the problem and a second count ensued.

When Kennedy looked at the new results, there were some small differences from Tuesday night's count, but none big enough to change the course of the election. The most significant change in tally results differed from the original count by 18 votes.

In the race for the Republican County Chair, Robert Pratt was originally reported to have 5,807 votes, the second count reported 5,825 votes. His opponent's tally changed from 3,106 votes to 3,115 votes. Kennedy says, "The previous software was totally wrong and bad so it's like we should forget that even existed and this is the original count is what you're getting today."

Election officials say the change in vote tallies is most likely due to ballots that were marked lightly and the machines read them differently this time through. They're confident that every vote cast in Lubbock County has been counted.

The new election results will be made official March 18th when the Republican and Democratic parties' executive committees have a chance to review them.

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