Several Stafford County voters claim they were given the wrong ballot at the polls Tuesday, while others say their ballot was missing information.
According to county voting officials, a precinct chief reported that some voters checking in at the polls were given incorrect ballots.
“Our records reflect that 281 ballots were cast within the six affected precincts from the opening of the polls at 6 a.m. until the resolution of this issue by no later than 6:30 a.m.,” County Registrar Anna Rainey wrote in an email.
Six precincts were affected: Hartwood, Simpson and College in the Hartwood District; Griffis and Barrett in the Griffis–Widewater District; and Whitson in the Garrisonville District.
All of the precincts affected were split precincts, where voters are given different ballots based on which House of Delegates or state Senate district they live in. Rainey reports the number of affected ballots was between 66 and 281 in legislative races only. No local races were affected.
The 30-minute glitch was caused by a data transfer issue to the polls’ computer printers. Those printers help voting officials identify which ballot matches the voter’s precinct.
“No local election results could have been impacted,” wrote Rainey. “At worst, the effect of this issue on a given election for statewide office would only be a fraction of the 281 votes cast during the relevant time.”
The closest state-level race in Stafford was between Democrat Joshua Cole and Republican Paul Milde. Cole won by 1,039 votes.
On Friday, the Electoral Board conducting a provisional ballot meeting and reviewed 29 countywide provisional ballots. Nineteen of those ballots were accepted, but they did not affect the outcome of any Stafford or state races. None of the provisional ballots accepted were cast in the Griffis–Widewater District, where incumbent Supervisor Jack Cavalier lost by 18 votes to Tinesha Allen.
“There were no surprises, issues or concerns,” said Rainey.
On Tuesday, the election will be certified by the Electoral Board. Cavalier has said he will request a recount if the outcome is unchanged by the certification.