An email from Justus Wendland, Office of Secretary of State, to Cherrie George, former Mineral County Clerk was obtained by Independent-News after a request for information was filed.
Dated Jan. 12, 2015, the email from Wendland to George may shed light onto 178 uncounted ballots.
“Cherrie, The following language is being considered for use in Dominion’s [Mineral County voter machine contractor] Final Report regarding the tally in Mineral County…I would also appreciate any guidance you have that could be used in the future to identify and resolve this issue as well as thoughts about procedures that might be implemented to check final numbers to ensure all of the cartridges were successfully uploaded.”
The email goes on to give the Secretary of State’s explanation, “Mineral County – A memory pack was not tallied. Discovered that two memory packs were assigned the same identifier causing the software to not tally votes for 178 ballots on the second cartridge. This also caused the processing log to show the cartridge as successfully read. These results were not included on the county canvass.”
George countered Wendland saying, “Justus, the statement just isn’t true! To my knowledge, there were not two cartridges with the same number. And even if there were, I don’t understand how it would cause the problem.”
She went on to explain, “Election files are copied to the cartridge just before or during PreLat. Election files to be copied are determined by the particular precinct for which that cartridge/Edge machine is assigned. During PreLat, the cartridges with Edge machine labels are placed on their respective Edge machines and PreLat and simulation is performed…extra/blank cartridges are stored away.”
She would conclude, “…you will see that there are NOT two machines with the same identifier number – one that tallied and the other that didn’t.”
Wendland’s suggestion to Dominion would be, “Mineral County – A Edge results cartridge was not tallied. Discovered that two cartridges were assigned the same identifier causing the software to not tally votes for 178 ballots on the second cartridge. This also caused the processing log to show the cartridge as successfully read. These results were not included on the county canvass.”
Earlier emails dated Nov. 19, 2014 show that Wendland had been in contact with George regarding the votes.
Aware of the problem, the email began, “…We just need to pin down your turnout today so it matches the total reported on your canvass (for the Supreme Court Canvass) and confirm if 178 is the difference and whether that number is ballots, votes, or vote history.”
He concluded the note with, “I’m sure this isn’t fun to deal with locally…If it helps, I have seen similar situations in Montana, and I’m sure it’s not the first time it’s happened in Nevada.”
George expressed her unhappiness to Wendland.
The request for information from Independent-News asked for all emails and correspondence between past and current employees and elected officials or members of the public.
The Secretary of State (SoS) office estimated that there were approximately 350 pieces of correspondence. Filling the request, only 49 pages were retrieved with the citing of Donrey of Nevada vs. Bradshaw.
Over 20 residents of Mineral County forwarded their concerns onto the SoS office. A handwritten note from Karen Rutledge to Scott simply said, “Scott: Please review – maybe we can send a blanket response to these people?”
The generic response would be as follows, “At this time, because an active investigation is pending with the Mineral County DA’s Office, this office [SoS] is not in a position to provide any type of response.”
A phone call to Dominion was not returned and an email to Sean Rowe, District Attorney, was not addressed.