A long day turned into a short night for many Craighead county election officials. Benton Smith, a local lawyer and election commissioner, says bad luck, human error, and a fairly heavy turnout all helped to cause problems with the voting process.
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The first problem and one Smith described as “major” was the shortage of ballots in the Caraway voting district. The same problem happened two years ago. This year officials thought they would see no shortages of ballots but did not account for the chance for human error. Smith says they suspect someone wrongly keying in numbers ordered too few for the precinct causing the shortage. Damage was fairly light; Nearly 250 ballots having to be hand counted.
Other problems throughout the day included differences in ballots at precincts. Each precinct could have several different ballots being handed out. These differences are due to state, county, and local races do not follow the same boundaries. While information given to poll workers shows these differences, mistakes can be made.