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Elkhart County election results delayed after memory card accidentally locked in church

WSBT 22 photo

We are still awaiting the full election results from Elkhart County.

Election officials there defend their decision to leave a memory card from a touch screen voting device that was locked overnight inside a polling place.

This is not the first time an issue like this has led to election day delays.

It happened Tuesday night at a vote center at the New Hope Church, north of Elkhart.

The election board was notified that an inspector discovered that a vote card from one of the touch screen machines was left in the machine. There were 194 votes on it.

“There was a discussion between the board and inspector in the morning and the inspector misinterpreted,” said Chris Anderson, county clerk. “It was mistaken communication that she could just leave it there, that it was fine.”

The decision was made to pick up the vote card today (Wednesday).

The deadline for the 'official' vote total for the county isn't until Friday, November 16th.

“We could have gotten the card last night, but in conversation with the Indiana Election Division, it was determined to get the votes that we have,” said Anderson, “ so that we've got totals and unofficial results, and then we can add those back in to the totals today.”

The election board worked today to add them to the unofficial tally. In addition to those votes, the election board needs to look at 147 provisional votes that were cast.

“Provisional ballots are those that have been challenged for several reasons, whether it has to do with having a proper photo ID or a voter signature challenge on paperwork," said Anderson, "...or that it's missing or the voter's residency is in question."

Anderson also says they have to look at emails with attached ballots from overseas and military voters.

Those need to be counted into the official total on Friday, November 16th.

“I received them late Monday night, and early Tuesday morning and was not able to get those,” said Anderson. “They still do count, we will add them into the total. That's what we are going to be doing a week from Friday.”

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