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Computer glitch led to unusually late results out of St. Tammany

Parish Clerk of Court Melissa Henry told Political Analyst Clancy DuBos that her office “wanted to get the count right rather than getting it out right away.
Credit: WWL-TV

COVINGTON, La. — A computer scanning glitch that created a nine-vote discrepancy among mailed-in paper ballots caused the St. Tammany Parish early voting returns to be held up until nearly 11 pm during Saturday’s primary election.  A total of nearly 25,000 votes remained unreported while members of the parish Board off Election Supervisors remained locked in a room in the parish courthouse counting hundreds of the paper ballots by hand.

Parish Clerk of Court Melissa Henry told Eyewitness News Political Analyst Clancy DuBos that her office “wanted to get the count right rather than getting it out right away. We had a legislative special election recently that was decided by only five votes, so we knew that a nine-vote discrepancy could potentially be significant.”

By law, the Supervisors cannot leave the room where paper ballots are counted until all members of the board agree on the total.  Without the discrepancy Henry says St. Tammany’s early results would have been posted shortly after 8 pm.

Henry said the supervisors scanned the mail ballots in as they arrived, but that when they were opened and counted on Saturday, there was a nine-vote discrepancy with the total number of mail-in votes received.  Henry said there was no discrepancy in the thousands of early votes cast on computerized state voting machines.