Local News

Chatham County Officials Manually Recounting Votes Due To Faulty Machines

Posted November 6, 2002

— Election officials in

Chatham County

are still sorting through ballots after trouble with some voting machines.

Officials said the problems began in eight prencincts where the initial voter count did not match the numbers tallied by voting machines. Officials then took the ballots and ran them through machines that did work.

After doing that, officials came up with the correct results; however, state law requires workers must manually recount votes.

"I know that it takes about one minute to read each ballot, and we figure out that just with our precinct of 525 (voters), it would take about six to seven hours," election board worker Gina Bechtel-Hicks said.

Dawn Stumps, director of the Chatham County Election Board, said the ballots were run through working machines Tuesday night, giving officials correct voter tallys. She said she hopes the hand counts will confirm the numbers that officials have in hand.

"The unofficial results we have should be about the same thing, so this is just a verification of those," Stumps said.

Unofficial results show Democrats won by a comfortable margin in local races.

Officials said the voting machines in question were bought used by the county in 1992. Officials said they have already made a request to replace the machines.

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