By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
LINN COUNTY, KS (KCTV) -
While many races were decided early Tuesday night, one Kansas county was still counting ballots the following day.
Linn County, KS, experienced a breakdown in technology Tuesday night. Their ballot counting machine broke, leaving the county clerk no choice but to start counting ballots by hand.
"When we started running advance ballots through our counter we noticed the totals didn't look right," Linn County Clerk David Lamb said.
Lamb said the problem was the programming.
"Not sure which thing it was or how we did that," he said.
Lamb scrambled to find people to start hand-counting ballots, many he believes were Republicans. That's when Sheriff Barry walker, a Democrat, started to grow suspicious.
"I'm sure not accusing anybody of anything illegal, but it doesn't look right, it doesn't smell right," Walker said of the ballot counting problems. "I understand they had the county treasurer counting ballots. The county treasurer and I have had some differences for quite some time. I didn't think that was real kosher having her count ballots, I'm not saying she did anything wrong but it didn't look real good I didn't think."
Walker said he just doesn't think anybody related to the campaign should have counted ballots.
Lamb said he did have elected officials help count ballots, but he doesn't believe there was any wrongdoing.
"They normally help me with the election. If they had an opponent I would not have had them back there counting," Lamb said.
Walker was in a four-way race to keep his spot in the sheriff's office. He said it's mostly the waiting that was bothering him.
"It's just frustrating. And it's frustrating for them. The county clerk has his share of headaches. He's trying his best I'm sure," he said.
Lamb said he's had Democratic and Republican representatives watching over the counting process and both say the election is being fairly decided.
"We are actually seeing the circles colored in. Sometimes the machine won't see them if they're not colored in properly," Republican representative Angela Stark said.
Wednesday afternoon, they were able to fix the problem and resume using the machine to count ballots.
The county clerk got the results posted about 6 p.m. Unofficial election results posted to their website show Walker losing the county sheriff seat to Republican Paul Filla.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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