Ballot blemishes mean no final vote totals for Collier tonight


Officials with the Collier County Supervisor of Elections Office determined Tuesday night that about 1,000 ballots have white blemishes in the tracking area on the left hand margin that won't allow them to be read by the vote-scanning machines that count the ballots.

The blemishes are blamed on manufacturer's error, Collier Supervisor of Elections Jennifer Edwards said.

To correct the problem, Collier elections officials voted to use black, felt pens to correct the white marks. The corrections will be made at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Supervisor of Elections Office, and will be open to the public.

That means final totals from Collier County will not be available Tuesday night, elections officials said.

However, the marks will not change anyone’s vote; these fixes are to be done in the margins on the ballot, elections officials emphasized.

“There is no chance that decisions on the issues would change or anything like that,” said Gary Beauchamps, chief deputy supervisor of elections for the county.

If any of the ballots still can't be read by the voting machines after the corrections have been made with felt pens, officials will manually duplicate those ballots.

“It's unfortunate,” Edwards said. “It's something we'll address with the vendor.”

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