Dallas County seeks Super Tuesday recount after 'discrepancies' with vote count

Dallas County Elections Administrator Antoinette “Toni” Pippins-Poole is asking for a paper recount of some Dallas County votes in the recent primary election after "discrepancies" were found "with 44 precinct scanner and tabulator machines at certain vote centers throughout Dallas County."

A petition was filed Friday to reopen the central counting station in order to recount and retabulate the votes cast in Dallas County for the Texas Democratic and Republican primary elections on March 3.

The county determined a recount was needed after election officials found "ballots from 44 of the precinct scanner and tabulator machines" were "unaccounted for" during the reconciliation process.

“We are anxiously awaiting information into how could this possibly happen,” said Rodney Anderson, Dallas County Republican party chair.

“It does give me concern. I want everybody’s vote counted. I want Republicans vote counted, Democrats votes counted, independent, whoever. We are concerned about everyone having their right to vote.” Carol Donovan, Dallas County Democratic party chair.

With the new voting equipment in Dallas County, the machines record votes electronically and it also creates a paper ballot record.

According to the petition filed by Pippins-Poole, each voting machine has two thumb drives to record the votes, with one thumb drive used as the primary, and the other used as a backup.

The votes are tabulated and then recorded on the primary thumb drive, and after voting ends and the voting machine is closed, the information on the primary thumb drive then copies over to the backup.

Election judges are then instructed to take the thumb drives to one of the 13 designated regional sites.

Election officials then do a reconciliation process to "compare the number of voters accepted at each voter center with the number ballots cast at each vote center."

During the reconciliation process, it was found that 44 primary thumb drives were unaccounted for.

According to election officials, of the 44 thumb drives, 16 were not received in a "timely manner" and 28 were from voting machines not scheduled to be used but were used by volunteer election officials. 

The petition filed by Pippins-Poole seeks a paper recount of the ballots from those 44 precinct scanner and tabulator machines that were not accounted. The court was asked "to set a date and time for the recount to occur so all parties authorized under the Texas Election Code may attend the recount and observe."