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Computer error changes outcome in Calhoun City Election

4:09 PM, Nov 8, 2010   |    comments
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A computer error has changed the outcome in the Calhoun city election.

On election night, it appeared Kelly Burns won the race for City Commissioner, but when the Election Commission looked closer at the numbers, it turned out Larry Lunsford got the most votes, 106 to 98.

According to Kris Williams, Administrator of Elections for McMinn County, her office had to use two separate databases to tally the results because of a problem with the original ballot.  A program that was supposed to merge the two databases didn't work as planned-- it doubled the vote counts for absentee ballots and those cast on election day.  Early votes were not affected. 

Election workers were not comfortable with the results, so on Wednesday they came in and checked the numbers again with the company that provided the computer program and databases, and realized there was an error.

There were three city races on the ballot in Calhoun, and only the City Commissioner were affected.  There were also city elections in Athens and Niota, and while the correct numbers showed those races were closer, the outcome was not affected.

The election results will be certified November 16th.

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