JEROME, Idaho — Jerome County election results were amended after discrepancies in early voter counts were detected.
Election officials in Jerome said the results were accurate but when being transmitted to the secretary of state's office, all early voter ballots were missing. The cause has yet to be determined but the error has been corrected.
Official results will have to wait due to the Veterans Day holiday. The election is expected to see its final tally Monday.
“It’s important to understand that this was a simple error. Nothing has changed with our ballots; nothing has changed with the printouts with our tabulating machines. It was just translating it from us to them that that column got lost in translation,” said Cy Lootens, Jerome County elections director.
The Jerome County elections office immediately reacted when they noticed the error and make it a point to show honesty and transparency in their ballot counting process.
“Security is of the utmost importance. That’s why we are transparent with what we do and that’s why we came out with this press release as soon as we could, to show that we found this error and that it has been corrected and the correct information is out there,” said Lootens.
The results led to a flip in victory. Before the results were amended, Democratic candidate Karma Metzler Fitzgerald had won as representative of District 26. After recalculating the results, she lost to Republican Jack Nelson by 83 votes.
“I, of course, was devastated. I was very excited to be representing the people of District 26,” said Metzler Fitzgerald.
The loss was slim, Metzler Fitzgerald hopes to serve her community in other facets and says she is glad the election results are being corrected.
“I am hoping that everyone in this process is honest and true and that we can get to the bottom of what happened and solve a problem if it needs solved and then move forward,” said Metzler Fitzgerald.
For more information on the amended election results and to see the press release, click here.