Primary election still awaits validation
A visit by individuals from Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s office was delayed, and so were official results for Harrison County’s primary election. That visit and a possible certification of election results could come yet this week.
‘I’ve heard rumor of a recount, but no one has filed,’ Circuit Clerk Sherry Brown said.
County poll workers began coping with problems with voting machines purchased from Election Systems & Software before the polls were even open May 2. Ten of the Ninth District’s 20 counties had not reported official figures as of 1 a.m. the morning after the election. At least some of those counties were grappling with the same technical problems as Harrison County.
When asked if she felt a recount was needed, Brown said, ‘They made mistakes in programming every other aspect of this system. How can I be confident that the machines recorded every voter’s ballot correctly?’
Rokita’s office was far more optimistic. A release the day after the election read, ‘Input statewide indicated a very good to normal election with some issues common to any typical election.’
Rokita said in the announcement, ‘It is difficult to ignore how the state’s high level of preparedness going into this election aided in Tuesday’s success.’
Problems in Harrison and other counties are referenced near the bottom of the lengthy release.
‘The state is currently investigating reports of difficulties and errors in some voting machines used throughout the state. Though most instances are isolated, several counties in Southern Indiana have experienced significant issues with the same type of machine. Secretary Rokita is already investigating two vendors who provide voting systems to Indiana counties, and will consider any additional evidence gathered in the days following the election as part of future hearings,’ the release read.
Since the initial tally on May 2 and 3, an additional 61 ballots cast on touch-screen machines have been added to the totals. Those did not change the outcome of any race.
The closest race, Brown said, was for District 2 County Council on the Democratic ticket between William T. (Bill) Nichols with 636 votes and Robert H. (Bob) Morris with 588.
A very few provisional votes are still awaiting confirmation in accordance with the state’s new voter ID law. Those voters have until Friday to present proper identification, but the ballots are too few to change any outcomes.
The statewide voter turnout was 22 percent with only 15 percent of registered voters casting ballots in Marion County, the state’s most populous.
About 26 percent or 7,594 of 29,361 registered voters cast ballots in Harrison County.
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