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Crawford County sees voting machine error (KS)
The Morning Sun. November 6, 2008. By KEVIN FLAHERTY

PITTSBURG A programming glitch between the ballot cards and the machines at a Pittsburg ward may have switched the votes in certain local races.

Don Pyle, Crawford County Clerk, said Thursday that his office discovered an error and would discuss the error during canvassing Friday morning. Because the provisional votes will not be ready until Monday, Pyle said he would take the extra time to discuss how the election went, along with any errors his office dealt with.

I think we have it figured out, and were going to take action to make sure the results are right, Pyle said. We have a good strategy addressing it.

He said more testing was needed to be sure his office took the right steps moving forward.

Pyle said the error could have affected candidates in three races, but declined to say what races they were. But one of the races appears to be the race for Crawford County Attorney.

Michael Gayoso Jr., the Republican candidate for the spot, said Pyle told him of the error at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

He said he was uncertain of whether it affected my race, but said that it may have, Gayoso said. He said it was limited to three precincts and told me that if there was a problem, I may actually gain something like three votes.

Gayoso said the three precincts in question were all in the Pittsburg Fourth Ward, located at Countryside Christian Church, including precincts one, two and six. If there were a vote reversal, Gayoso would then win precinct one, which he lost in numbers released Tuesday 163-130. At the same time, two precincts Gayoso won before the errors were detected would go to incumbent Crawford County Attorney John Gutierrez. Gutierrez would then win precinct two 18-13, and precinct six 76-51.

Overall, the flip would swing a 33-vote margin to Gayoso and a 30-vote gain to Gutierrez, giving Gayoso three more votes. Gutierrez said he hadnt heard about the error as of 4 p.m. Thursday and declined to comment further.

Any other local races were too far apart for that change to make any difference.

Its something we can fix very simply, Pyle said. So we want to work within the canvass and election guidelines and within the full view of the public as well. We want them to feel comfortable that the final voting tally is accurate.

Kevin Flaherty can be reached at kevin.flaherty@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 Ext. 134.

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