The 2020 Primary Election has gone the way much of the entire year has – rife with problems, delays, and unforeseen issues. The polls closed at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9. At the time this story was posted, nearly noon on Wednesday, June 10, election officials are no closer to counting all of the votes than they were at midnight on election night.
The problems are due to the new technology used to count paper ballots. And there are plenty of paper ballots to count. Because of concerns surrounding COVID-19, many voters opted to cast their ballots on paper by mail. As a result, the Coffee County elections office received over 2,700 paper ballots and each one must be scanned individually.
On election night, the paper ballot scanner started having problems and officials were unable to count the ballots. A technician onsite couldn’t fix the issue. Officials left the polls early Wednesday morning and will return to resume counting votes at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
At the time the polls closed, incumbents in all contested local races held comfortable leads with one notable exception – the District 3 board of education election. In that race, challenger (and former board member Gene Wade) holds a 30-vote advantage over incumbent Reagan Miller, 460-430.