Problems at the polls leaves

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 7, 2000

350 votes uncounted


Staff Writer

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Approximately 350 ballots could not be counted Tuesday night because of what was apparently a power surge.

The box located at First Baptist Church in Troy, which included the Pike County Commission, District 6 race, can not be counted until sometime today. That particular box is one of the largest in the county.

Pike County Probate Judge Bill Stone said the voting machine’s data pack was damaged and all the ballots had to be locked into the box. The problem is, election officials can’t count those ballots ­ even by hand ­ with a written order from a circuit judge.

Even if Stone had been able to reach one of the three local circuit judges Tuesday night, the ballots could still not have been counted because a majority of the polling officials have to be present when the box is opened.

"We’re in an immediate dilemma," Stone told candidates and supporters gathered at the Pike County Courthouse awaiting results.

"I’m as sorry as I can be. It’s just one of those things."

Stone promised the candidates, whose future is still unknown, he will get a judge’s order today if "I have to go to the beach."

Stone said there is know way to tell how many of the approximately 350 votes were in the Democratic Primary and how many were in the Republican Primary because the sign-in sheets are also sealed.

"This is the first time it’s ever happened to us," Stone said of the problem.

Stone said the candidates, party officials and representatives of the media will be notified when the ballots are counted.