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Iowa Secretary of State: Linn County incorrectly reported hundreds of 'additional ballots'

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Linn County incorrectly reported 600 additional ballots on election night Tuesday, according to Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate.

Pate tweeted the information out Thursday morning saying his office discovered the error on Wednesday.

Pate's office said in a press release Thursday afternoon the discrepancy was revealed during one of many reconciliation processes its office completes prior to the county and state canvasses.

He says the data was updated by Thursday afternoon.

"We contacted Linn County to alert them of the issue, and they went through the process of reuploading and reviewing all of their results from election night," Communications Director Kevin Hall said.
"The Linn County Auditor’s Office did not follow the basic review process recommended by the Secretary of State’s Office in multiple trainings to county auditors. Failure to verify their totals against the absentee precinct board’s election night results before publishing was the cause of the issue. It has now been corrected."

Election results are unofficial until they are canvassed weeks later.

Linn County Auditor Joel Miller was not available for comment Thursday but did thank Pate on Twitter for asking them to double-check the results.

"Once again, Iowa’s checks & balances works," Miller's twitter account said.
"An error occurred when a laptop malfunctioned and votes were counted twice. The error was corrected and the new data reflects our unofficial results at this time."

It doesn't appear the error has lead to any changes in who won on Tuesday.

It is the latest election day error from the county. A Linn County Supervisor candidate, Mark Banowetz, noticed Tuesday that he was not on the ballot when going to vote. Miller held a press conference shortly after that saying roughly 280 ballots were impacted.

"It's a failure of my office. I'm responsible for my office," Miller said. "It's ultimately my fault period. And that's the way it is. It's unfortunate. I apologize to both candidates. This should not have happened. I apologized to the public to the voters. This should not have occurred."

He went on to say after the election that the spread between the winner and loser was nearly 4,000 votes so he sees no reason to contest the election. Banowetz received 11,174 votes while Kirsten Running-Marquardt received 14,927 votes.

Pate's office is still investigating.

Full election results can be found here.

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