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Ballots counted again in judge race.
The Sentinel. By John Hilton, Nov 12, 2005

Cumberland County election workers gave up their holiday Friday to continue recounting ballots in the election of a new magisterial district judge for the Carlisle area.

A machine recount of ballots reversed two votes Friday ? one for each side ? which did not change the outcome. Democrat Jessica Rhoades remains the winner by a two-vote margin ? 1,703 to 1,701 ? over Republican Kathy Keating.

For now.

Next week, the county?s return board will meet to consider write-in votes and provisional ballots, explains Jerry Wilkes, county information management and technology director. There were no write-in votes that would affect the outcome, he added, and just 11 provisional ballots turned in for in the entire county.

Provisional ballots allow voters whose registrations are challenged at the polls to vote anyway, with eligibility determined later.

Ballots for all nine precincts were hand-counted Thursday and run through the machine Friday morning, Wilkes said. The machine reversed the two votes ? in different precincts. Those two precincts were run through the machine and hand-counted a second time, Wilkes said, and the results were confirmed.

?We?re confident that the numbers we have now are as good as they?re going to get,? he added.
Keating waits

Keating said she will wait to see what the provisional ballots yield before determining her next move.

?We don?t have a good number yet,? she said.

Final results must be certified by the Cumberland County Board of Elections by Nov. 28.

Rhoades, an senior assistant public defender in Cumberland County, and Keating, a graduate of Dickinson School of Law and a legislative assistant to state Rep. Will Gabig, R-199, are competing for a new seat created by the state. District Justice Paula Correal, currently responsible for the Carlisle area, will assume the North Middleton district.

Programming error

Initial vote totals recorded Tuesday night showed Keating won by a 1,650 to 1,468 margin.

However, a programming error by the county?s ES&S voting machines awarded all votes by Democrats casting a straight-ticket ballot to Keating. The problem involved a software coding error in which Keating?s political affiliation was mislabeled as Democrat.

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