Election officials say a formatting error delayed Cascade County results on Tuesday. County Clerk & Recorder Rina Moore says the elections office noticed problems with the voting machine’s ballot feeder early Tuesday night. She says officials were only able to count 20 ballots at a time compared to the 200 to 300 the machine typically processed. An elections copy specialist from Butte revealed the problem stemmed from incorrectly-cut ballot stock, resulting in the feeder error. Moore says officials resorted to feeding ballots through a voter scanner and tabulator system which the elections office had not used before, and she said she hoped would help provide a final count.
“We have had our copy doctor representative come in, what we have found is that the ballots are not cut… square. And so that affects the feeder on the machine,” said Moore. Moore says the same problem involving general election ballots occurred in Sanders County in October. She says the specialist also said multiple counties in Idaho reported similar problems Tuesday night.
The problem was caused by incorrectly-cut ballots, which didn’t properly fit into the machine’s feeder. Moore says they haven’t had problems with the machine before and it was likely a batch of poorly-cut ballots that the county received from the supplier.
She says they did not expect this problem to occur. The machines are only about four years old and it was the same machines and type of ballots used in the school bond election earlier this year, which went off without a hitch.