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One county has yet to report in general election
The Morning News   By Jon Gambrell & Jill Zeman, AP  November 8, 2006

LITTLE ROCK -- While most Arkansas counties faced only minor bumps while counting votes from Tuesday's election, Johnson County has yet to report any results by mid-afternoon Wednesday, while counting stopped in Carroll County.

The reasons for the slow counts varied, said Natasha Naragon, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state's office. In Carroll County, officials were unsure about the results of some of the races and planned to begin counting again Thursday, Naragon said.

Johnson County officials had counted votes cast on touch-screen machines, Naragon said. However, the county had not released any information as of Wednesday afternoon. Naragon said election workers would begin counting absentee and provisional ballots there at 3 p.m.

In Lawrence County, problems with touch-screen voting machines forced some polls to go to paper ballots, said Janet Latham, a temporary employee in the county clerk's office. Election workers counted paper ballots until 5 a.m., when they went home, Latham said. The county reported the bulk of its results by mid-afternoon Wednesday.

Overall though, voting and ballot counting went far smoother this month than it did in the May primary, when new equipment from Election Systems & Software equipment stretched vote counts in some counties for days.

"It wasn't perfect, but it was very good," Naragon said. "I think the counties themselves are becoming more familiar with the new procedures and machinery. I think every election from this point on is going to be better."

 In the state's most populous county, voting and vote tabulation went smoothly and quickly, the Pulaski County Election Commission said.

"When I went into the commission office this morning, I still felt like something should be amiss somewhere," commissioner Kent Walker said Wednesday afternoon.

Walker said voting officials from around the state met at a summit last month to discuss the electronic equipment and any issues that arose during the problem-plagued May 23 primary.

"We wanted to take a proactive role in making sure this general election did not turn out like the primary," Walker said.


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