The Mineral County Board of County Commissioners met in a recessed meeting on June 19 to canvass the results of the primary election which was held on June 12.
Clerk Christopher Nepper explained that he and his office completed the canvass of the 2018 election and that there had been an issue.
“I accidently put three unread USB’s in the ‘read’ cartridge bag so our vote count was off for Election Day for the Schurz polling location,” he explained to Commissioners Jerrie Tipton and Chris Hegg who were in the meeting and while Commissioner Garth Price participated via the telephone.
“One of those machines had 13 votes, another 17 and the other 40 votes.”
He explained that once his office found out that they were missing the votes; his office immediately got with Dominion [Mineral County voter machine contractor] and tallied the votes.
“This was a huge error on my part,” Nepper apologized to the board.
Tipton explained that this year’s voting equipment is a whole new system.
Nepper went on to explain the canvas to the commissioners, stating that Mineral County had 1,097 voters which was 43.43 percent of the voters.
“Not a great turnout,” Nepper said.
“With the missing votes, it did not change any of the winners,” he explained.
This would not be the first time that Mineral County would be faced with uncounted or missing votes.
In the 2014 Mineral County General Election, 178 ballots had been uncounted. Again, the numbers did not change the overall winners, but it did make many voters in the county wonder if their vote had been counted. It would later be conclude in June 0f 2015 after an investigation that there was no tampering or fraud associated with the election machine, the process of how the votes were county, Mineral County voter staff or the cartridges themselves.
In a statement from the Mineral County clerk regarding the mishap of Election Day 2018, Nepper pointed out how his office was able to find the voter problem the day after election day. “When we started doing the canvass the following day we were off by about 71 votes from the Trial Community Center [in Schurz] on election day.”
“Once we processed the results for the Tribal Community Center we were at the right numbers and all votes were counted. We immediately sent up the amended statement of votes so the numbers were accurate with the Secretary of State Office,” Nepper explained.
The amended numbers were also posted outside of the courthouse, as they are done during each election.
“The mistake did not change any of the winners, had that been the case, we would have contacted the person immediately,” he continued.
“It was an error on my part and I take full responsibility. We are working with all new equipment this year and our procedure for processing was not up to date. We have since revamped the process and will have multiple checks and balances in the future,” Nepper said.
“Again, my apologies to the citizens of Mineral County. If anyone would like any information please see me at the clerk’s office and I will gladly answer any and all questions,” Nepper concluded.