Ballot issues reviewed in elections commission meeting

Posted at 4:53 PM, Mar 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-08 21:56:42-05

The McLennan County Election Commission met on Tuesday to discuss the ballot issues during the primary election.

Elections Administrator Kathy Van Wolfe spoke to the commissioners Tuesday morning. She said the issues were from human error, but they also had issues with the voting equipment.

Van Wolfe said she was informed at the beginning of February that there could be a problem with the equipment on election day because they would work different than during early voting.

In order to prevent any issues, Van Wolfe made the decision to train all of the election judges on how to manually enter voter and precinct information to give voters the correct ballots. On election day, however, some people wrote the ballot style number instead of the precinct number, and gave the incorrect ballot to voters.

Four polling locations were affected by the mistake, including the Mart Community Center, Cesar Chavez Middle School, Fellowship Bible Church and the First Assembly of God Church.

At the First Assembly of God Church, over 600 people were given the wrong ballot. 

The county's Election Commission met Tuesday to try to figure out exactly what went wrong and how to fix it for the future.

"It leaves a bad taste in voter's mouths that they are going to go through the trouble to come back and vote in these runoff elections and others when they think there's a chance that votes may not be counted," said McLennan County Judge Scott Felton. "But I can assure them in the runoff process and the November election, that this equipment will be fixed."

On Wednesday morning, there will be a recount for the McLennan County Precinct 1 Commissioner race between incumbent Kelly Snell and challenger Cory Priest. Priest requested the recount last week after he lost to Snell by 29 votes.

Snell attended the Election Commission meeting and said he has more questions than answers. 

"I didn't really feel like there was much accomplished," said Snell. "I feel like we need to really get to the bottom of it and find out what went wrong with the election, why those errors were there and make sure that they're corrected for when we go forward from this time on."

The recount for the precinct 1 race will start at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday morning.

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