One Vote Counts for None

November 13, 2006 - Posted at 6:38 p.m. CST

WALDENBURG, AR -- When you live in a town of 80 people, your vote shouldn't be too hard to count.  However, one of the candidates for the mayor of Waldenburg is positive his vote didn't count.  How does he know?  When the final tally was released, he had zero votes.

Going into Election Day, Randy Wooten was positive that he had at least one vote in his bid to become the mayor of Waldenburg.

"Were you able to review your vote at the end before you submitted it?" asked K8 reporter Brett Garrett.

"Yes sir...and my name was there," said Randy Wooten.

However, the day after the election Wooten's wife Roxanne checked the results at the courthouse and found a surprise.

"I came straight over to the bar and asked Randy 'Who did you vote for?' and he said 'I voted for myself.' I said no you didn't, he said 'Yes I did,' and I said you couldn't have you have zero votes," said Roxanne Wooten.

But he wasn't the only one whose vote didn't show up.

"So everybody asked who did you vote for and I said evidently I didn't vote for him," said Roxanne Wooten.

Randy Wooten believes after receiving feedback from voters he should have accounted for eight to 12 votes.

Now he is left feeling like his run for mayor was a wasted effort.

"That is what my father used to say. He wouldn't vote because he would say his vote doesn't count...well that is the way I feel now," said Randy Wooten.

The Wooten family is left wondering if other races were also affected by this voting machine error.

"Where does the state representative vote go? Did it go to the right person? Did these amendments go to the right one? It makes you question the entire thing," remarked Roxanne Wooten.

Officials in Poinsett County say the machines worked perfectly before the election and they are more than happy to look into the problem if need be.

"All Mr. Wooten has to do is ask for a recount and then we can check the tape but until that point we can't do anything," said Poinsett County Election Commissioner John Stuckey.

Mr. Wooten says he does plan to file for a recount with the Poinsett County Clerk. However this election process has made democracy leave him with a bad taste in his mouth.

"I think very seriously about giving up voting to tell you the truth," said Randy Wooten.

Officials in Poinsett County say tomorrow a technician from ES&S will examine the voting machine for errors.