Losing candidate claims machine error - East Valley Tribune: News

Losing candidate claims machine error

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Posted: Tuesday, December 5, 2006 10:15 am | Updated: 3:59 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

A candidate who didn’t get elected to the Central Arizona Water Conservation District has taken the matter to court, saying his loss must be due to a problem with the voting machines.

Samuel George said one pre-election poll showed him running second in a 12-way race for five Maricopa County seats on the board that manages the Central Arizona Project. Another, he said, put him at third.

Yet he was right at the bottom of the list when the election results were reported.

George claimed in legal papers filed in Maricopa County Superior Court that the optical scanning equipment used to tally the ballots “failed to properly record and tabulate the results.”

He asked Judge Janet Barton to allow the actual ballots to be inspected. A hearing is slated for today.

One of George’s theories was that many of the voting machines refused to accept ballots that registered an “under vote” for the election. Those would be ballots where voters did not pick five candidates, but instead voted for four or fewer. He attached two affidavits from poll workers which said that was the case. And George said he “has learned” that there were similar problems in 175 precincts.

“That’s not true,” responded Linda Weedon, Maricopa County’s deputy election director. “The machines at the polls don’t acknowledge under votes. They’re not programmed to do that.”

Weedon said the two people who said they saw the rejection did not recognize what the machines were doing.

The 15-member water board manages operations of the 336 miles of pipe and canals that brings Colorado River water to central and southern Arizona. It charges delivery fees and levies taxes to both run it and repay the debt for its construction. Board members are not paid.

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