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Error leads to incorrect Mahoning County election results

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

YOUNGSTOWN — A mistake by its deputy director resulted in more than 6,000 early-vote ballots incorrectly counted twice at the Mahoning County Board of Elections in its “final unofficial” results distributed to the media and others on election night.

Deputy Director Thomas McCabe said he failed to reset a scanner that had previously counted early-vote paper ballots before he inserted 18 ballots that were voted curbside at polling locations.

That resulted in 6,161 early-vote ballots to be counted twice on the “final unofficial” report that the board ran at 10:27 p.m. Tuesday.

The mistake was detected about 10 to 15 minutes later by Chris Rakocy, the board’s information technology manager, and an “amended final” report was created at 11:02 p.m. Tuesday.

But election officials didn’t contact the media and others – including its board vice chairman – about the mistake. Instead, election officials just updated the results on its website late Tuesday night.

At 11:01 p.m., a Vindicator editor went onto the board’s website for election results and instead got this message: “We’re sorry but there is no web page matching your entry.”

Board Chairman Mark Munroe, who is also head of the county’s Republican Party, said Wednesday he is sorry the media wasn’t notified about the problem to let others know.

For the complete story, read Thursday's Vindicator and