The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

June 5, 2014

Woodroof: Technical mishap ‘made no difference in any race’

Primary results to be certified June 10

ATHENS — A mishap involving a computer memory drive at one location caused the unofficial election results from Tuesday’s primary races to be updated but did not change race outcomes, Limestone County Probate Judge Charles Woodroof said Thursday morning.

“We were made aware late (Wednesday) afternoon that inadvertently one of the memory sticks at a voting location with two machines had a machine with results that did not get read correctly,” he said. “There were 204 ballots not in the unofficial results distributed Tuesday. It made no difference in any race ... All it did was amend the unofficial results with everybody having a few more votes.”

Woodroof said there were eight out of 24 voting centers in the county with two machines. He explained that any location with more than 2,400 registered voters has to have more than one voting machine. The technical misreading occurred at the Round Island Baptist Church location.

“There were 47 Democratic ballots and 157 Republican ballots,” he said.

Voting machines

Prior to the election, Limestone County used M100 voting machines that included a data pack that was delivered to the location where votes were canvassed. The data packs were hooked up to a laptop computer that calculated the total.

For this election, the county used DS200 voting machines. The current machine uses a thumb or memory drive instead of a data pack. After being signed and sealed, a Sheriff’s Office deputy or a voting inspector delivers the thumb drives from the voting location to the canvassing location, according to Woodroof. The memory sticks are then logged in and inserted into the laptop to be read and checked off.

“On Tuesday, they were coming in much quicker than they have ever come in because the DS200 are quicker,” Woodroof said. “That is why we have new machines (that are) better, faster.”

He explained that in the envelope from Round Island, there were two memory sticks.

“Inadvertently, only one stick was loaded into the laptop and read,” Woodroof said. “So when unofficial election results were distributed on Tuesday night, out of 2,880 registered voters at Round Island Baptist Church, 334 ballots were cast. That was the results on one of the two memory sticks.”

There were 17 races on the ballot at Round Island, Woodroof said.

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