BAY VILLAGE, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has uncovered a mystery with more than 900 ballots not discovered until long after last week’s election.
This could affect the winners and losers of three races.
The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections tells us 900 votes did not get counted on election night after they were cast at Bay Presbyterian Church in Bay Village.
Dave Tadych thought he lost his race for city council in Bay Village by 10 votes. He already had questions before finding out about the votes not counted.
“It’s more than frustrating. I’m upset that I had to ask,” he said.
So, how did nearly a thousand votes from one polling place not get counted on election night?
The board of elections believes a poll worker may have taken a memory stick, or flash drive, out of a machine early before all of the votes in the machine had been uploaded or collected.
Tadych had looked at the numbers from turnout on Election Day, and he had a feeling something wasn’t quite right. His first thought was to wonder if someone had made an error.
“Somebody made a terrible mistake. You make them. I make them. We all make them,” he said.
“This is all part of our due diligence stuff that we do every election,” Cuyahoga County Board of Elections Director Tony Perlatti said.
He told us the board discovered 903 votes had not been counted. Workers found that as they went through normal reviews after Election Day. That included checking the number of paper ballots against the number collected by computer.
“The layered approach, we go through this. The process worked,” Director Perlatti said.
“How much concern is there something like this could add to distrust some voters may have in the system?” the I-Team asked.
“What I would hope is it would have the opposite effect. People would say, ‘Wow, look at what they could do down there,’” Perlatti said.
The 903 votes could affect the race for judge with Rocky River Municipal Court, school board in Bay Village and that race for council.
Attorney Joseph Burke got the most votes for that judge seat. He has now hired a lawyer to monitor this.
The board of elections says official results won’t be certified until Nov. 28.
“There you go. Thanksgiving dinner is going to be not about turkey,” Tadych said.
The board of elections told us this has happened before, but not often.
We also asked how the county can be sure this is tied to a mistake. The board of elections says it has no evidence of wrongdoing, but the board will follow up with poll workers.