PHILLIPS COUNTY, Ark. — Frustrations are mounting in Phillips County, Arkansas, where election officials failed to get results of the Nov. 8 election to the Secretary of State.
While votes have been counted, technical issues reportedly have delayed the vote numbers from being sent electronically as required. The problem reportedly starting with early voting issues
No one at the Phillips County Election Commission would talk about delays Friday.
Daniel Shults with the State Board of Election Commisioners said the ballots were not completely and properly prepared on the first day of voting and they had to use some “second best” procedures to make ballots available.
Shults said those “second best” procedures turned out to be paper ballots that couldn’t be scanned and tabulated in the normal way.
“What they had to do was to take those ballots, that were legally marked and totally countable but they could not be scanned, and reproduce the votes in a public forum that was both accurate and transparent,” Shults said.
Staff members from the State Board of Election Commissioners monitored the process of recounting those ballots, but the county has failed to post the results, which are considered unofficial to the Secretary of State’s website, as required by law.
We’re told there are computer connectivity issues preventing the upload, but some folks in Phillips County are concerned about transparency at the Election Commission.
“We want people to be able to trust (that) when I go to vote, my vote is counted accurately and timely and then I can trust the results,” said Sandra Valley Bagley, with the HWH School Board of Directors.
Those feelings were echoed by Elijah Mondy, owner of the KJIW-FM radio station in Helena.
“This should not have happened because they knew for months, we knew there was going to be a big election on November the eighth,” Monday said.
The Phillips County Election Commission has until next Wednesday to get results posted.
Six runoff elections are set for Dec. 6, including the mayor’s race, two aldermen and two school board members.