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Clay County Will Recount Votes After Finding Errors In Tuesday’s Unofficial Election Results

A statue outside the Clay County Commission meeting room Thursday, December 19, 2019.
Julie Denesha
This statue stands outside the Clay County Commission meeting room.

Clay County Board of Election Commissioners Director Patty Lamb said the recount shouldn’t take more than a day.

The Clay County Board of Election Commissioners is conducting a recount of votes Thursday after discovering discrepancies in the unofficial election results.

Director Patty Lamb told KCUR the errors are the result of what she called a “programming error on the tabulators.” The Election Board’s vendor, Adkins Printing, is investigating the cause.

“We noticed in a couple of the races in some of our precincts that some of our candidates had zero votes and we knew that couldn't be possibly right,” Lamb said.

The unofficial results show zero votes in more than 20 precincts for State Rep. Jon Carpenter in the race for Western County Commissioner in the August 4 Democratic primary. Clay County assessor Cathy Rinehart is the other candidate in that race.

As part of the verification process, the board does a “sampling of hand counting on some ballots,” according to Lamb.

“We know the votes are there, because we've seen them, but they weren't showing up on the report,” Lamb explained. “We don't understand exactly what the error is there, but our vendor is looking into it to see where it went wrong.”

The discrepancy doesn’t affect the actual ballots; the issue is the votes were counted incorrectly. Lamb said she doesn’t anticipate the recount taking more than a day.

Aviva Okeson-Haberman was the Missouri government and politics reporter at KCUR 89.3.
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