A second manual ballot recount began Thursday in Midland County as election officials try to determine the source of continuing, substantial difference between electronic tabulations from the November election and an initial manual recount, the Midland Reporter-Telegram reported.
Election officials were surprised on Thursday to see the discrepancy increase as they started counting. Because the problem was believed to have come from the Midland County Annex, workers counted only those two boxes. But the gap between the electronic count and the recount widened from 829 to 840.
“We know there are 840 ballots less than what our electronic count had, so that seems to indicate either the ballots are missing, or there is a problem with the electronic count,” County Attorney Russell Malm told the newspaper.
A county employee also discovered a new ballot box on Thursday. While moving the sealed box, the employee discovered it was not empty, but it’s unclear if it is from the November election or the 2018 election, the Reporter-Telegram reported.
Malm will request through a court petition that the box be opened and the ballots counted if they are from the 2019 election.