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Vote Counting Machine Error Results In Election Vote Changes (SD)
KOTA Radio 1380. June 4, 2009

After a manual audit of electronically scanned results, Pennington County Auditor Julie Pearson says Ron Kroeger actually won the Ward 4 city council race.

Tuesday night, results showed Kroeger receiving 49% of the vote.  Instead, Pearson says he received the required percentage needed to win the race.  The percentage calculation done by the scanning equipment was off, she said.

"It is an integral part of processing election results data to compare results from the scanning equipment to the number of ballots voted results returned by the individual polls.  This audit is done to capture any calculation errors, human or electronic." 

Pearson says they don't know what caused the glitch, so they have contacted the company that supports the vote counting system to find an answer.

Pearson said she started to question the initial count because the machine totals showed more ballots had been counted than had actually been voted during the day.  She says she compared the precincts count totals to the voter rolls in the individual precincts to prove the cumulative counts on the machines were off.

It took her about 45 minutes to complete the manual audit.  The problem was discovered late last night after most of the staff had gone home.  "We don't go home until we're satisfied the count is right," she said.

Below are the corrected vote totals from the county auditor. The results are unoffical pending an offical canvas.

Rapid City Mayor:
Alan Hanks (I) - 3,829
Bonnie Redden - 1,569

City Council Ward Two:
Deb Hadcock (I) - 331
Jeanette Deurloo - 289

City Council Ward Three:
Dan A. Michael - 258
Bill Waugh - 873
William S. Okrepkie (I) - 424

City Council Ward Four:
Ron Kroeger (I) - 300
Steven J. Rolinger - 111
John B. Roberts - 168

City Council Ward Five:
Aaron Costello (I) - 895
John M. Lundeen - 339

School Board Area One:
Candice Estes - 84
Arnie Laubach (I) - 104
Heather Gosch - 399
Suzan M. Nolan - 595

School Board Area Two:
Adam N. Sanders - 96
Sheryl Kirkeby - 297
Curt Pochardt - 123

South Valley Annexation:
Yes - 3,354
No -  1,823

Voter Turnout: 13.2%  5,613 ballots cast

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