Bloody Benton County | Arkansas Blog

Bloody Benton County

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I can't explain the technical details, but my correspondent in Benton County says the election coordinator came up with a third set of vote totals in last Tuesday's election. Not a 47 percent turnout; not an 83 percent turnout. Now, it's a 50.7 percent turnout, which still sounds a bit high against the state average, but believable. It includes, however, more than 1500 "found" paper ballots, according to my source.

And wouldn't you know it, the found ballots fell disproportionately in the one election contest where a Democrat had a shot, having led the ticket on the first vote count. The new votes were enough to give the Republican JP candidate the win.

Frankly the likeliest explanation here is sheer nonpartisan stupidity and incompetence -- in the Republican clerk's office, the election coordinator (hired by a Democratic-controlled election commission) and ES&S, the contractor hired to implement new voting procedures statewide. A recount is needed, a first test of the paper trail on the electronic machines.

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