Mistake On Ballot Results In A Special Election

On June 12th, many of us went to a polling place, filled out a ballot, and had our votes counted fairly that night.

In one small community a written mistake on the ballots caused dozens of votes to be mis-tallied.

Alexus Arthur finds out how the City of Tioga plans to make it a fair election.

“They kind of made the mistake,” said Eden Lerohl, Tioga Resident.

On election day people in Tioga were ready to vote for 2 local races. There was two open seats for the city commissioner and three open seats for the park board.

“It wasn’t a machine error, it was human error,” said Abby Salines, City Auditor.

The ballot instructions said to only vote for one city commissioner but residents were supposed to be able to vote for 2. It was a similar problem on the park board. The ballot said to vote for 2 but should’ve said to vote for three.

“A lot of people were upset about them not being able to pick more on the ballot,” said Salines.

By the time the error was noticed on election day it was too late to fix the problem.

Now, the city is planning to hold a special election to redo those races the right way.

“I’m glad that they will do it right,” said Natalie Bugbee, Appointed Commissioner.

“Instead of having one person mad because they didn’t get to vote the way they wanted to this is the fair way to redo it all,” said Salines.

“I feel like it’s the right thing to do,” said Lerohl.

Until that election, which could still be months down the road, the candidates with the highest number of votes are currently serving those positions.

“I hope that I can continue to be on,” said Bugbee.

If the residents of Tioga want to have a fair say in their local election they’ll have to visit the polls again. 

There were 162 votes cast in Tioga.

The city auditor says that the special election may not take place until October or so.

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