Machine error blamed for ‘missing’ absentee ballot problem in Tuscaloosa County

Machine error blamed for ‘missing’ absentee ballot problem in Tuscaloosa County
Someone putting absentee ballots into a scanning machine in the Tuscaloosa County courthouse Wednesday. (Source: WBRC)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - The Tuscaloosa County Circuit Clerk’s Office released some new information Thursday into what happened involving what they originally called 800 missing absentee ballots from Tuesday’s election.

They now tell WBRC those ballots were never missing, bt due to a machine error, they were never counted.

Tuscaloosa County Circuit Clerk Magaria Bobo said in an email that no ballots are unaccounted for at this time. There was a mechanical issue with the machine used for the first two counts.

On election night, that machine kept jamming so no absentee ballots were counted. On Wednesday, it appeared that same machine did not read all ballots fed into it.

Thursday, members of the Circuit Clerk’s office counted them by hand to make sure the number of absentee ballots added up correctly.

“And they’re double verifying with two teams the hand counts. So, I want to make sure they know where they’re at there,” explained Tuscaloosa County Probate Judge Rob Robertson.

The absentee ballots will be fed into a new machine inside the Tuscaloosa County courthouse so the count can be continued. That’s set for 9 a.m. Friday.

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