County searches for misplaced voting machine memory cards
WTHR 13 Eyewitness News; Rich Van Wyk 08 November 2006
Indianapolis - Thousands of votes cast on scores of Marion County voting machines are missing in action because poll workers didn't turn them in to be counted. The uncounted results could change the outcome of four local races.
Election workers are searching for thousands of votes cast in 66 Marion County precincts. They are going through boxes, bags and envelopes workers used Tuesday night to close the polls as well as the voting machines themselves. They are looking for the computer data storage cards that workers should have removed and turned in to be counted but didn't.
Marion County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler (R) says this occurs every election. "Usually it doesn't make a difference in the outcome of an election, so no one pays attention to that. But in this case it could make or break a candidate's position," she said.
But never have so many cards been missing. With one state House seat and three township offices hanging in the balance, both parties are scrutinizing the search for votes.
Once missing data cards are located, a Republican and a Democrat take them to a secured room. Only one worker knows the combination. They will stay in the room until the data can be retrieved and the votes counted.
Until then, Democrats insist, "we have no idea what is going on. So this is just an absolute horrible situation," said Ed Treacy, Marion County Democratic Party chairman.
In addition to the missing computer data cards, a computer software glitch prevented any of the votes cast on hundreds of new touch screens from being counted. They are still locked in the machines.
"Every single precinct in this county has a problem at this stage of the game potentially," said Sadler.
Thus far, election workers have located 23 of the missing cards.