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Elections & Politics

WL Council Candidate Alleges Widespread Errors In County Election System

Chris Morisse Vizza

At a Friday meeting to certify votes from last week’s municipal elections in Tippecanoe County, a Democratic candidate for West Lafayette City Council alleged widespread problems with the voting process.

Third District Democrat Joelle Jones, who lost a three-way race in her district, doesn’t dispute her outcome, but says she’s more concerned about the process.

She says voters she’d registered weren’t entered into the county’s database for 18 days and some of their information, such as their addresses, was entered incorrectly. She says the failure of the county Election Board to check the entries stopped some of those people from voting.

Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey acknowledges there was a part-time employee in the registration office who entered incorrect information. That employee was fired, and Coffey’s staff then checked the registrations done by the ex-employee.

Election Board officials agree there are problems with the system and say they will try to correct those before May’s presidential primary elections – including more extensive testing of the system before ballot machines go out and a review of the county's contract with Robis Elections, which provides the software for ballot machines.

Coffey says the county attorney is looking into the possibility of changing the contract with Robis because of this year’s snafu, which also led to some 95 voters receiving incorrect ballots. Only a handful of those people reappeared to change their votes between Election Day and the results being certified. As a result, none of the results from last Tuesday’s polling indicated a different winner Friday.