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Ballot tabulator machine breaks down, causes delay in election results in Jasper County



JASPER COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) – The Jasper County Auditor asked for a recount of nearly 11,000 absentee ballots after the scanning and tabulating machine jammed and began tearing ballots.

The Newton Daily reported that the request came after election workers noticed they were short 10 absentee ballots of what they should have had on election night. As of Wednesday, auditors said seven of the 10 missing ballots have been found.

Workers tried running the ballots through the machine again, but it broke down about halfway through the count.

Auditors told the Newton Daily they saved the results from the first time the ballots were run through the machine, so they could post the results on their election website. But the results are coming in much later than they were expecting.

The auditor’s office will have election workers re-mark a fresh ballot according to the damaged one’s vote, if the original ballot is too mangled for the machine to recognize it.

Jasper County Deputy Auditor Tina Mulgrew told the Newton Daily that because so few ballots had gone missing, they are not expecting a change in the outcome of the races.

Auditors will ask supervisors for an administrative recount on November 5.

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