- JACKSONVILLE, N.C.
- More than 4,500 votes may be lost in one North Carolina county because
officials believed a computer that stored ballots electronically could
hold more data than it did. Scattered other problems may change results
in local races around the state.
- Officials are investigating whether the lost votes in
coastal Carteret County can be retrieved somehow, said state Board of Elections
Executive Director Gary Bartlett.
- Local officials said UniLect Corp., the maker of the
county's electronic voting system, told them that each storage unit could
handle 10,500 votes, but the limit was actually 3,005 votes.
- Expecting the greater capacity, the county used only
one unit during the early voting period. "If we had known, we would
have had the units to handle the votes," said Sue Verdon, secretary
of the county election board.
- Officials said 3,005 early votes were stored, but 4,530
- UniLect, based in Dublin, Calif., did not immediately
return a phone call Thursday seeking comment. County election officials
were in a meeting and did not return a message seeking comment.
- Two statewide races remained undecided Thursday, for
superintendent of public instruction, where the two candidates are about
6,700 votes apart, and agriculture commissioner, where they are only hundreds
of votes apart.
- How those two races might be affected by problems in
individual counties was uncertain. At least 72,000 provisional ballots
are still to be counted, with four counties not yet reporting those figures,
- In Mecklenburg County, which includes Charlotte, a discrepancy
was reported in the number of early votes cast. Before the election, the
county election office said 102,109 people voted early or returned valid
absentee ballots. Unofficial results from election night showed 106,064
of those votes.
- Elections director Michael Dickerson said election officials
had not lost any votes and he noted the results were not official yet.
- A recount could change results in county commission races.
- Nationwide, only scattered problems were reported in
electronic voting, though roughly 40 million people casting digital ballots,
voting equipment company executives had said.
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