OK, this story is just amazing. In an election about gaming, some ballots were found after the election and the found ballots are in an election decided by less than 35 votes. The first story gives the key facts:
Kanawha County will add at least 64 votes to the tally from Saturday’s special table games election after ballots were discovered in an envelope Monday, Clerk Vera McCormick said.
Just 33 votes now give Nitro’s Tri-State Racetrack & Gaming Center victory in its bid to offer poker, blackjack and similar casino games, out of 45,055 ballots cast and counted.
The 64 ballots should have been counted by workers at a Sissonville precinct that voted heavily against the gambling initiative. The ballots were cast during the 14 days of early voting that preceded Saturday’s election.
In the second article, the poll worker explained the problem as follows:
Poll workers from Kanawha County precincts are expressing remorse after uncounted ballots were recovered from their precincts after the table games election.
“We did everything we were supposed to do,” said Carolyn Jarrett, a poll worker at George Washington High School’s precinct, where 122 untallied votes were found. “It was just an honest mistake, and I am sincerely sorry for it.”
Jarrett said the uncounted votes were an oversight. She believes the envelope that contained the votes was put aside in a canvass bag by accident.
Now here is the question. I have no doubt that the poll worker and the election official are not nefarious. But the question remains, what do you do in a situation where you have paper ballots that have been outside the chain of custody? Now obviously, you can count them but can you trust that they are the actual early voted ballots?
Also, imagine this story where you found a DRE cartridge with votes. Do you think this story would just be in the West Virginia papers?