27 vote in wrong race in Fayette County
Election workers in Fayette County spent part of Tuesday contacting 27 voters who cast ballots for the wrong state representative because voting machines were incorrectly programmed in two precincts.
Eleven of the voters cast ballots before 8:15 a.m. in Jefferson, and 16 used incorrect ballots in Lower Tyrone before 10 a.m., when the mistakes were discovered, according to motions filed in civil court by Sheryl Heid, county solicitor.
She told President Judge John F. Wagner Jr. during an impromptu hearing shortly before noon that one machine in each of the two precincts was incorrectly programmed.
Wagner voided the votes for only the state representative races.
He directed the election bureau to contact each of the 27 voters and provide them with provisional ballots.
“I want to be certain that each of these voters gets a chance to vote,” Wagner said.
“It’s an affirmative obligation on the county’s part to make certain these folks who took the time to vote get one, no matter what lengths we have to go.”
Wagner suggested “someone get in their county car” and personally deliver the ballots to the affected voters, if necessary.
Heid said election workers spoke directly with 10 of the voters in Jefferson before the polls closed Tuesday.
Each voter was making arrangements to obtain provisional ballots, which must be returned to the election bureau by Nov. 12.
She said workers were “not as successful in reaching the voters from Lower Tyrone,” but phone messages were left for all of them.
Each of the voters will be mailed provisional ballots, Heid said, and the election bureau will continue to try to contact them.
The Jefferson voters got a ballot from Henry Clay, and the Lower Tyrone voters got a Jefferson ballot, officials said.
Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or [email protected].