Dallas County recounts primary ballots

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On Wednesday, Dallas County election employees recounted thousands of primary-election paper ballots that officials believe are the reason for the discrepancy between the number of voters who showed up at polls and the number of ballots initially counted.

The recount, approved by a judge on Tuesday, was expected to encompass 6,000 to 8,000 ballots from 44 polling locations across the county, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The ballots are a fraction of the total and unlikely to change the outcome of any race, but the News noted that the recount is just the latest development in a tumultuous election season in Dallas County that saw both parties scrambling to get enough election judges and voters facing hours-long waits during the primary.

University of Houston professor Brandon Rottinghaus told the Morning News that elections can sometimes be “messy.”

“There is an unfounded expectation that ballots are counted quickly, but the responsibility of election officials is to count them properly,” he said. “And efficiency and completeness are not always easy to accomplish.”

Dallas County election administrator Toni Pippins-Poole said that recounting the paper ballots will ensure every voter’s voice is heard.

Pippins-Poole had suggested that Democrats and Republicans combine their two primaries into one election after they had trouble agreeing on the number of polling locations. That would have provided her more authority to organize the election and train workers earlier, but the parties rejected the idea, the newspaper reported. 

Pippins-Poole told the Morning News that, at the 44 polling locations that are being recounted, about half of the election judges were new.    

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