In the past Davison County has experienced struggles with tallying ballots, and unfortunately this primary election was no different. "Two years ago we had some difficulties. The machine didn't clear as it was supposed to, so we had some votes that were counted twice," Davison County auditor Susan Kiepke said.
To keep this from happening again, Davison County purchased a new machine. It is a DS 850 model, but Tuesday night problems arose with this one as well. "What happened is the machine actually worked too well. It's too sensitive," Kiepke said.
Each ballot is stamped with ink from an ink pad, saying it is an official ballot. The ink was bleeding through the ballots, making the machine think the ballot was unreadable. Resolutions boards were made to correct the error, making sure every vote was accounted for.
"They number the ballots and then replace the ballots that are unreadable," Kiepke said. Kiepke was thinking ahead when she used the new machine for the primary election, though. She says she didn't want this to happen during the November election.
"There are other auditors that are going to be moving to this DS 850, but several of them decided to wait until the general election. I wanted to test it for the primary because with any new equipment their are bound to be glitches, and we happened to run into one of those glitches last night," Kiepke said.
Kiepke is certain the machine will be fixed before the November election, she referred to Davison County as the guinea pigs of this new model. She says is hopeful this will help other counties as well.