A missed step on the last box of ballots sent what otherwise was an uneventful election into a late-night recount. Missoula County Clerk and Recorder Vickie Zeier said the final machine-counting of 359 ballots was recorded but not saved properly to a computer memory disk. Election workers used tracking sheets to re-create the count – checking 12 ballots from one ward, 62 from another, and so on according to the list of what was in that final box.
“I just don’t know if I was close, and I want to be exact,” Zeier said just before midnight as the re-created ballot run was completed. “The biggest concern is the write-ins in Ward 2. ”
A similar problem bedeviled election officials in Yellowstone County in 2006. Zeier said to avoid any controversy, the entire load of more than 20,983 ballots would be recounted. That was expected to last until about 3 a.m. Wednesday.