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Rumors around late election results dispelled
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    Rumors are flying around about the reasons behind the lateness of election results for District 3 and District 5 in the Statesboro City Council elections were released Tuesday night. The truth, as usual, is rather mundane.
    “You can’t ever predict that in an election you’ll be able to close it out in 30 minutes or three hours,” Judy McCorkle, the city's election supervisor, said Wednesday morning.
    She said the delay in counting was caused because she was waiting on paperwork that would have given her – as well as the public, media and candidates – the final number of challenged and provisional voter totals in Districts 2 and 5.
    “I wanted to be able to give everybody a breakdown of how many challenged ballots were outstanding, because that would make a difference if the race was close," McCorkle said. "I wanted to be able to tell everybody that there were this many challenged and this many provisional.”
    She explained that poll workers boxed up two specific forms containing that particular information. The box of information used to total out the elections was sent from the polls to the police station, so it could be stored in a secure location.
    The two forms in question were recap sheets showing challenged ballots and provisional ballots in each district. A recap sheet shows where a challenged or provisional voter’s name and district are recorded in order to keep track of the number of challenged/provisional ballots cast throughout the day. In other words, it is a written record of the number of ballots that were cast.
    At the end of the day, these written record sheets are used to compare the number of ballot envelopes in possession by the poll workers and the number of paper ballots actually cast. So, when polls closed the number of total voters on the challenged and provisional recap sheet need to match the number of paper ballots issued which had to match the number of envelopes collected in order to be in balance.
    McCorkle said the manila envelope holding the recap sheets was included inadvertently in a box of paperwork that was taken to the police station for storage. Once it was found and returned to the county courthouse, the final number of challenges and provisional ballots in each district was confirmed and the information released to the public.
    In addition, there was one memory card from the direct-recording electronic (DRE) voting machines left in a machine. McCorkle said this did not hold up the process since she already had the printout of results from the voting machine and could have made the results public without the card. Still, it was necessary to have the card to certify the elections results.
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