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Tallies from two new vote counts don't match, effort drags on

The Davison County election mess deepened this afternoon when the totals from two new vote counts failed to match. Election officials did a new count today at the courthouse in Mitchell after a technician fixed the county's voting machine. Follow...

Vote-counting machine
Davison County Deputy Auditor Karen Knadle and a technician from Election Systems & Software, of Omaha, Neb., try to diagnose the problem with the vote-counting machine Thursday morning at the Davison County Courthouse in Mitchell. (Chris Huber/Republic)

The Davison County election mess deepened this afternoon when the totals from two new vote counts failed to match.

Election officials did a new count today at the courthouse in Mitchell after a technician fixed the county's voting machine. Following that new count, the ballots were run through the machine a second time.

The precinct vote totals from the two counts matched, but the overall totals did not. As of 4 p.m., officials were trying to determine what happened.

The process has been ongoing since 9:30 a.m., when the county canvassing board convened and a technician from Election Systems & Software, of Omaha, Neb., began working to fix problems with the county's vote-counting machine.

By late morning, the machine was operational and the first new count had begun.

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The process flowed from Davison County Auditor Susan Kiepke's Wednesday acknowledgement of apparent errors in the results from Tuesday's election. She described the errors as test data that may have gotten into the machine and also said hundreds of ballots may have been counted more than once.

This afternoon, she said informally that it appears the winners of Tuesday's elections will not change, but some numbers in the vote totals will.

Candidates gather
Numerous local officials are gathered at the courthouse this morning to observe the new count of votes from Tuesday's election. Pictured here, clockwise from back left, are mayoral candidate Jerry Toomey, mayor-elect Ken Tracy, City Finance Officer Marilyn Wilson, mayoral candidate Tara Volesky, mayoral candidate Roger Haley and Davison County Treasurer Brenda Veldheer. (Chris Huber/Republic)

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