LIBERTY, Mo. — Missouri state Rep. Jon Carpenter is the likely winner of a Democratic primary for a seat on the Clay County Commission after a programming error initially showed his opponent won the election.
Clay County election officials spent much of Thursday re-certifying about 44,000 votes after initial results showed Carpenter had not received any votes in 21 of the county’s 40 precincts. Clay County Assessor Cathy Rinehart received 73% of the vote in Tuesday’s initial results.
County Republican election director Patty Lamb said Friday a programming error on tabulators caused results to be read incorrectly in six Democratic county races. She said the ballots were out of order, changing how a machine read the results.
The other five races were uncontested so the outcomes were not affected.
Lamb stressed the races were in order on ballots, every vote cast on Tuesday was counted and there was no evidence of tampering. She said she and Democratic director Tiffany Ellison work together to ensure a proper outcome no matter the candidate’s party.
“We don’t have skin in the game,” she said. “Our focus is to be sure every registered voter is counted, and we work together in checks and balances to make sure that happens.”
The final, official results were expected to be certified late Friday.
Brent Wagoner, account manager for Adkins Printing, the county’s election vendor, said Friday the company is working to determine how the problem occurred.
He said it was the first time Adkins had experienced the problem, and it was the only counting error reported in the 74 counties the company served in Tuesday’s election.
“We are going to figure it out and get provisions in place to make sure it never happens again,” Wagoner said.
Carpenter, who reached his term limit after serving eight years in the Missouri House, will face Republican Lydia McEvoy in the general election for a commission seat in the western district of Clay County.