WilCo Election Admin Denies News 8 Report
However, he does not deny that bond issues were missing from ballots
By Patricia J. Ruland,
6:30PM, Tue. Nov. 4, 2008
Rick Barron, Williams County elections administrator, told the Chronicle that today's News 8 Austin report, “Williamson County reports electronic ballot problems,” which stated electronic ballots were missing bond issues, causing the county to go paper from then on, is in error. However, he did not deny the central thrust of the story – that some the bond issues were missing from some ballots that should have contained them.
First of all, he said, the electronic ballots were not what malfunctioned. Instead, he said the “the electronic poll books,” which election workers use to check voters in, misidentified which ballots should go to whom.
Consequently, during the first hour of voting this morning, about 590 voters in affected precincts were given the wrong paper ballots – in that they were missing the Georgetown Independent School District or Round Rock Independent School District bond issues – when such voters would have been eligible to vote on them. Barron said he is working with the Secretary of State to notify voters of the problem; he said voters may come in to the polls again and vote on the bond issues.
Secondly, Barron denied the county “has begun using paper ballots exclusively” after the mishap, as the report stated. “Our primary method of voting on election day is by paper ballot,” Barron said. Moreover, votes cast in all county, state and national elections will not be affected by the school bond ballot mix-up, he said.
“I'm getting frustrated with the misinformation out there in the past two weeks – since Florida, it seems people are looking for anything,” Barron said. “The election cannot be over soon enough,” he added.