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Jefferson Co. polling problems

The Jefferson County Election Commission is investigating the course of action of poll workers and cross over voting in the recent primary runoff election.
The Jefferson County Election Commission is investigating the course of action of poll workers and cross over voting in the recent primary runoff election. The commission determined 64 voters names will be turned over to the prosecuting attorney's office to look into possible fraud.

The Chairman of the Jefferson County Election Commission says he truly believes the discrepancies are do to paperwork errors, and in certain individual cases, poll workers who just made honest mistakes. "It's a poll worker issue where they should have followed procedure as they were trained and they just didn't."

The commission is taking this issue very seriously and plans to get to the bottom of the problems and correct them. Ashcraft says poll workers clearly made mistakes, but the commission is addressing them. "We're still in a fact gathering state, so we're getting all the information to put together a plan to talk to those responsible."

Out of 19,000 voters, 64 ballots cast are tainted. Ashcraft says he doesn't believe it's intentional. "I don't think we have someone who was trying to undermine the system. You just had a mistake."

The average poll worker is over the age of 70 and the commission suspects in this case it could be poll workers with vision or memory problems to blame for the paperwork errors.

"The last thing we want to do it make people think or allow people think we have a tainted system, or that something is broken. I certainly want to make sure people realize we're dealing with a very small number here."

At most, the 64 voters on the list being turned over the Jefferson County Prosecutor could face misdemeanor charges, but Ashcraft doesn't believe it will come to that. "I think Jefferson County Prosecutor Kyle Hunter will actually determine they didn't vote illegally."

Ashcraft says the commission will deal with the poll workers and find out where the breakdown in the process is by conducting interviews starting next week.

The ballots cast in the election cannot be undone, so the 64 votes count, but the commission says those votes would not have changed the outcome of any of the races.
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