Elections officials in Brooke County were counting ballots well into Wednesday morning because of problems with two voting machines. Brooke County Clerk Sylvia Benzo said she lost track of time as poll workers tried to sort through election night confusion. Benzo said there was a problem in one of the Follansbee precincts early on that elections officials knew they would have to remedy. But there was another issue with a voting machine at a Weirton precinct. “I didn’t know about the one with the problem in Weirton until later in the evening, and that one ironed out and we were able to upload that information into our system and that one was OK. But this last machine that had a total of 12 votes left on it, we couldn’t get those off of there,” Benzo said.
She said votes are collected in three ways on the electronic voting machines: by a personalized electronic ballot, a flash-card drive and a paper copy. “We were not able to get all of that information to upload,” she said. She said people were packed in a hallway Tuesday night waiting for the results from the voting machines from the two problem precincts. “It was kind of confusing and you have to sometimes calm people down in order to keep tempers from flaring, but it all ironed out in the end then,” Benzo said.
The results from the primary aren’t official until the County Commissioner can conduct a canvass. Benzo said the commissioners plan to meet sometime on Monday to begin that canvas and check all of the votes to ensure nothing was left out, including provisional ballot votes.