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Glitch causes Franklin Co. recount
Indy Star report. November 11, 2004

BROOKVILLE, Ind. - Election equipment counted straight-party votes for Democratic candidates as Libertarian votes, an error that could affect election outcomes in as many as nine counties, the Richmond Palladium-Item reported today.

Democrats discovered the error in Franklin County, where ballots will be counted again tonight.

The county's election equipment vendor, Fidlar, notified officials Wednesday of the error.

Libertarian candidates received 7 to 8 percent of the votes in Franklin County, which is about 30 miles south of Richmond.

Franklin County Democratic Chairman Jim Sauerland questioned Clerk Marlene Flashpohler on Tuesday about the results after seeing information on the final tally he couldn't decipher, Flashpohler said. That's when Flashpohler contacted Fidlar, who agreed Wednesday there was an error.

The Franklin County Election Board agreed at an emergency meeting today to recanvass the ballots tonight. Noon Friday is the deadline to contest the election results.

Republican Chairman Bob Jewell said he has concerns about the procedures used when the error was discovered. He's hoping the deadline for contesting the election can be extended because of the Veterans Day holiday today. No party or state election officials can be contacted today for advice, he said.

"Hopefully (the recanvassing) won't change the outcome of the election," Jewell said.

Fidlar has optical scan machines in nine Indiana counties, including two in the 9th Congressional District, where Democrat Baron Hill was narrowly defeated.

Flashpohler said Fidlar officials have said Franklin County is the only county where a database error occurred.


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