Clark County vote county error takes away election win
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - When Republican Scott Hawkins went to sleep on Election Night, he was 35 votes ahead of incumbent Democrat Rita Fleming for Indiana State Representative for District 71.
After making sure each ballot was counted, he’s now 155 votes behind.
The Clark County Election Board found after Election Day that some absentee ballot totals weren’t included in the first unofficial results.
They said one of the machines didn’t count some of the ballots.
“We need accountability, we need to make sure that our ballots that were cast were scanned properly as we cast them, and then tabulated properly,” Kelly Khuri, a Clark County resident said.
The Clark County Election Board suspected that not all of the votes were counted as they were coming in.
In an show of transparency, the board invited the public to watch the process of making sure every vote was counted.
“There is not going to be any ballots run through machines today,” Andrew Steele of the Clark County Election Board said. “This is not a recount. We are still canvassing the ballots.”
The error affected several races, but none more than the race for State Representative for District 71.
Once the process was completed, Republican Scott Hawkins, who was leading Democrat Rita Fleming on Election Night, was no longer winning.
“I think the main takeaway is that we cannot trust what just happened,” Zach Stewart, a representative for Hawkins said.
He said they asked for all of the absentee early voted ballots to be hand-counted, and they were denied.
“This is just one step in the process, we’ll consider all of the possible challenges, including a recount,” Stewart said.
Khuri was at the meeting as part of a group of citizens that are concerned about keeping elections fair.
She said she was satisfied with what she saw at the meeting, but she wants to go even further.
“This is a really good time for us to go ahead and take the ballots that were cast throughout the entire county, absentee, early voting, and precinct level,” Khuri said. “It’s an opportune time to take those ballots and check them against the tabulated scanned images.”
Khuri said it’s important that elections are free and fair because of the sacrifices that have been made to grant people the right to vote.
“The men in uniform have fought for us, for the freedom to have this right. I feel as a citizen it is my duty out of uniform to follow through,” Khuri said.
The official results will be verified and sent to the Indiana Secretary of State on Nov. 21.
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