Every Democratic ballot cast in Champaign County in last week’s primary is being recounted after irregularities were discovered in the results of several races. Election authorities began a machine recount Tuesday afternoon. The errors occurred in the vote tabulations for 13th and 15th Congressional District committeeman; the 13th and 15th Congressional District committeewoman; and all precinct committeeman races. All were at the bottom of the ballot — but only the Democratic ballot. In every case, the candidates were unopposed. In one instance — the race for 15th Congressional District committeewoman — Jayne Mazzotti of Taylorville was credited with only 450 votes in Champaign County, while there were 7,325 “undervotes” (ballots where no vote was cast). But a Tuesday morning handcount of Mazzotti’s votes in the city of Champaign’s Precinct 19 found she got 40 votes — despite being credited with none a week ago. County Clerk Gordy Hulten acknowledged the mistake, which Democratic Party chairman Al Klein highlighted as a reason Hulten — who for now is unopposed in November’s general election — should face competition.
… Hulten said his office discovered the irregularities in the voting tabulations the day after the primary. “We discovered it Wednesday and before we could figure out exactly what the issue was, we got calls from a handful of folks in the Democratic Party who were looking at their results and said, ‘Wait, there’s something that looks a little funky here.'”
In his e-mail to county Democrats, Klein said the errors “are the result of a synchronization failure between the layout of the paper ballots and their electronic counterparts in the (vote) tabulators. This caused the tabulators to associate some votes/undervotes with the wrong candidates/races in many precincts.
“This was not the fault of the voters, the election judges, the tabulating equipment or the state-certified software which aggregates and reports the votes. The invalid results are entirely due to the failure of Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten to properly synchronize the paper ballots with their tabulator ballot descriptions.”