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Reports out of Scott County have observers scratching their heads regarding the 2022 Election. A few counties in Iowa had problems, but Scott County appears to be struggling to figure out the source of its issues.

Here is what we know. Conservative Republican Luana Stoltenberg won the House District 81 seat. According to the Secretary of State’s website, Stoltenberg won by 24 votes. But according to the Scott County Auditor’s website, Stoltenberg won by 29 votes.

On Nov. 10, Scott County Republican Auditor Kerri Tompkins published the following release:

“Scott County Post-Election Audit Confirms Results”

Reading that release lets you know the audit was only done on ballots cast in B22 and only involved the race for governor and the constitutional amendment.

Because, just one day later, there was a release about a “discrepancy” in the ballots. And who could’ve imagined, the issue is absentee ballots?

According to one individual, initially, the office said it “found” ballots that weren’t counted. Ballots just popped up out of the blue — pun totally intended.

Tompkins said in that release there would be an administrative recount.

“My job is to audit the numbers and ensure 100 percent accurate results,” she said. “If there is any question, I believe a recount is necessary.”

The numbers didn’t reconcile, she said. There were 470 ballots of the total Absentee and Special Voters Precinct Ballots that weren’t jiving.

The administrative recount was to take place Tuesday, Nov. 15 at 11 a.m.

Well, on Nov. 16 there was another release. This time saying the administrative recount would continue with a ballot hand count.

“We will continue the process to ensure every legal ballot is counted,” Tompkins said.

This was scheduled to take place on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 8 a.m.

And now, according to a release from Thursday night, the administrative recount will continue with a final machine count on Nov. 18 at 8:30 a.m. The Iowa Standard was told after Thursday numbers still were not reconciling.

According to this latest release, the ASVP Board counted the ballots beginning on Monday and finished on Nov. 8. So-called “legal ballots” were added to the final count as of Monday, Nov. 14.

“This was the last day of added ballots to the ASVP precinct and follows the law,” the release said.

Tompkins said on Nov. 8 the discrepancy was noticed. She called Secretary of State Paul Pate’s office on Nov. 10 to request an administrative recount. Why it took two days, I don’t know.

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, the recount using machines with poll workers and a professional machine technician happened.

“Unfortunately, the machines repeatedly jammed during this process,” the release states. “Therefore, the administrative recount process continued on Thursday, Nov. 17, with a hand count of every ballot. To finalize this process, the recount will continue with a machine count on Friday, Nov. 18 at 8:30 a.m.”

According to Tompkins, it is important to her office “every ballot” is counted and counted correctly.

“In accordance with the law, every legal ballot has been within our custody under lock, seal and camera during this process,” she claims.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, it was determined that approximately 470 absentee ballots that were received and accepted by the Absentee and Special Voters Precinct Board on Election Day were not counted.

“These are lawful ballots that were reviewed and accepted by the ASVP Board,” said Kevin Hall, communications director for the Secretary of State. “The discrepancy was discovered because the number of ballots counted did not balance with the number of ballots turned over to the ASVP Board and returned to the Auditor’s Office on Election Day.”

We followed up with the obvious question…

How does this happen?

And a few others:

*Are there images showing these ballots should be counted with the proper legal markings necessary?

*Where were these ballots found?

*How were they found?

*Are they being kept separate from all the other ballots?

Those questions remain unanswered.

It is a pretty crazy idea that there could be a batch of 470 or so ballots that simply didn’t get counted. This isn’t a handful that somehow was placed to the side and was forgotten. This is 470. And heck, we don’t even know that it was 470. It was “approximately” 470. One would think there would be an exact number if the numbers are supposed to reconcile.

But heck, the numbers of this particular race — House District 81 — don’t even “reconcile” on the Secretary of State’s website compared to the Scott County Auditor’s website.

This isn’t Arizona and it isn’t 2020, folks. This shouldn’t be happening.

This doesn’t lend itself to a higher level of trust in our elections. It only damages it.

Look, it’s a simple philosophy: trust, but verify. There must be an extremely detailed explanation for how they screwed it up this badly and someone will need to be held responsible.

 

Author: Jacob Hall

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