Trouble With the Tally

It was a tense night at the Warren County Courthouse on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2006 as candidates gathered to watch the election results come in.

There were two different types of machines at the polls. The old machines that were tallied first, and then there was supposed to be a short break before the final results appeared.

However, many candidates waited for around two-and-a-half hours to see if they had won their race.

"For a candidate this is just agony. When they cut off the last time with the old machines I was in the top four, going to be returned to the commission, but until all those votes are in you just don't know,” said Slim Nash, a Bowling Green City Commissioner.

"I thought for sure with the new election equipment that it would be a whole lot faster,” said Ed Schwab, Sr., a candidate's father.

The Warren County Clerk's office uses two different types of machines: The 1242s, which are older models and the newer E-Slate machine, which is federally mandated because it's handicap accessible.

"They are handicap accessible. They have a hearing device on them. They have different devices you can put on them just for handicap people,” said Dot Owens, the Warren County Clerk.

Owens also said she was taught to run the results from the older machines first and then the ones from the newer machines to get the final tally.

"When we got ready to fuse the two together the program did not work and it was just like try, try, try and the program did not work,” said Owens.

Owens says a similar situation happened during the May primary and she and the other county clerks went through a class where the company that provides the machines said the problem had been fixed.

However, Owens said it wasn't fixed and her staff had to manually add the numbers from the two machines together.

The Warren County Clerk's office manually, double-checked the results on Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2006 and triple-checked many of the close races.

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