2,000 damaged ballots delay counting process in Palm Beach County

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said ballots damaged by a malfunctioning tabulation machine slowed the process. This, as the deadline to report election results to the state ticks closer.

More than three days after the polls closed and just hours before election results were due, the ballot counting process continued at the county's tabulation center in Riviera Beach. It was, perhaps, the last thing that Bucher or the voters of Palm Beach County wanted to see - crinkled, crumpled, accordion-like ballots being pulled from an apparently malfunctioning tabulation machine.

"That's common," said Bucher. "It happens in every election."

A similar problem occurred again on Thursday night. Bucher would not say exactly how many ballots had been damaged. "Thousands of ballots," she said. "It's a couple thousand ballots that get damaged as we are tabulating the ballots."

Bucher originally told WPTV NewsChannel 5, that she wanted Palm Beach County's votes to be counted by Friday at 3 p.m. Those efforts to finish the job were slowed yet again by these machine malfunctions. The county was on pace to return its election results behind any other county in Florida.

The deadline for all counties to submit their unofficial results to the state division of elections is noon on Saturday. 

Bucher was aiming to have her tabulation team complete its work before going home on Friday night.




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