Software issues lead to discrepancies in county judge's race

Software issues lead to discrepancies in county judge's race
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Frustration was evident Tuesday night at the Craighead County Election Annex.

After candidates waited for election results for hours, the Election Commission announced not only were they having computer software issues, but that one particular hot race had some discrepancies.

Initially, all things pointed to a quick night of results at the Craighead County Election Annex.

Within 30 minutes of the polls closing, early and absentee results from Craighead County were announced.

For those waiting and watching though, that was the last time they'd hear anything for hours, despite the fact that precinct after precinct arrived at the annex for the next hour and a half.

The Election Commission took so long, in fact, that the Republican Watch Party taking place nearby ended with many of those in attendance receiving no update on the races they were in.

Subsequently, those candidates and their supporters filed into the annex to see what was going on.

Around 10:35p.m., Election Commissioner Scott Troutt came out of the central tabulation room to announce that they were having issues with some computer software.

"It's not enough to make any viable differences we just don't want to be anywhere close to wrong," Troutt said.

It was still another 20 minutes before the results would come out. When they did though, it appeared the software issue did make a difference in one pretty big race.

"There is only one race that's affected by that. That's the County Judge's race," Election Commission Chair Jeanette Robertson said. "There's only a difference of about 19 votes."

She explained the discrepancy lies with nearly 90 votes.

Robertson said they ran the results multiple times to try and determine if the flash cards in the voting machines were failing.

"As a result, they're not counting all the results on that particular flash card. We have an alternative way to count all of those votes," Robertson said.

Until then, Republican candidates for the Craighead County Judge's race are left without answers on who will face off with Democratic incumbent Ed Hill in November.

"It's out of everybody's control," Jeff Presley said. "It's a software issue. Hopefully we'll have it resolved by in the morning. Just patience...that's all we can do."

"Life deals you with a lot of frustration at times so it's not really frustrating for me," Garry Meadows said. "It's just anticipating. We'll have a good night's sleep and in the morning we'll know how the results are."

The Election Commission plans to meet with Meadows and Presley on the results of the race Wednesday.

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