Benton County Officials Release Election Results, Discuss Growing Concerns
Officials released Benton County election results Friday night after three days of counting ballots.
Members of the Benton County Election Commission have been working overtime to reverse issues dating back to Election Day and extending through the week.
Long lines and a shortage of paper ballots was just a couple of the issues Benton County voters faced when they went to the polls Tuesday.
Benton County Judge Bob Clinard said high voter turnout contributed to some of the problems like long lines.
On Tuesday’s ballot were big issues like the Presidential election and a measure allowing retail alcohol sales in the county.
“That surely brought out a lot more voters, and that will be given a lot of more weight in the future if we have such an election with controversial issues, assuming there’s going to be a lot more voters,” Clinard said.
Election Commission Chairman John Brown said early voting also had a higher turnout than expected.
“At early voting, we used 45 machines. There are six locations to early vote at, and it cut down our supply of machines that we send out to the polling places,” said Brown.
Adding to the problems, more than 10,000 ballots were counted in Washington County after three ballot-counting machines broke.
The Election Commission and election coordinator will discuss changes to procedures for future elections, so such post-election difficulties do not happen again, officials said.
“As to what me might have done different, how many different ballots we have and paper ballots, a lot of this doesn’t originate in Benton County. It’s a statewide problem, the whole state. There are a lot to be talked about between now and the next election,” Clinard said.
Official results will be certified next Friday, but preliminary totals are on the Benton County website.