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Angelina County officials blame machine errors on delay in election results  (TX)

Lufkin Daily News     05 March 2008

Angelina County's acting elections administrator said machine errors were to blame for the delay in the release of primary election results early this morning.

Thelma "Midget" Sherman, who was on the ballot herself as a candidate for tax assessor, said the county's paper ballot machines had been improperly coded and would not accept the hard-copy ballots. So early voting results, which usually are available within two or three hours of when the polls close, were not released until after 2 a.m. Wednesday instead of 9 or 10 p.m. Tuesday. About a dozen people were still at the county courthouse annex when the final totals were released at 4:20 a.m.

Sherman said elections officials were having to count the paper ballots by hand and manually key them into the electronic system using a keyboard.

"They were holding up everything else from being counted," she said early in the morning.

While that issue delayed the early voting numbers from being totaled, another one popped up later that kept results from being printed. A printer started jamming, and Sherman said nobody was on call to fix it at that late hour. She said her staff was copying county voting data to a disk and trying to print it on another printer downstairs in the county annex.

Voters across the county showed up at the polls Tuesday to vote in either the Democrat or Republican primaries. A big showdown for Texas' presidential bid was on the Democratic ticket, as were four contested local races.

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