Appleton issues statement on miscounted select board votes

APPLETON — The Appleton Select Board has determined, and announced through a Friday press release, that a programming error in the ballot machine resulted in a miscount of the votes for the two open seats on the Select Board.

All ballots were counted. There is no evidence that any other articles on the ballot were improperly programmed or that those results were wrongly determined. There is also no indication that any other state or local ballot results were incorrect.

Specifically, the article for election of two Select Board members was programmed by an independent company as “vote for one” rather than “vote for two” as it should have been in keeping with the number of open seats for the July 14 election and as represented on the sample ballot provided to Election Systems & Software of Chicago, Illinois.

ES&S has confirmed the programming error and subsequently credited the town the programming fee because of their mistake.

This programming error was not identified during the testing process that was carried out by the Town Clerk and Deputy Town Clerk.

“After extensive discussions with the Town Attorney, Maine Municipal Association and the Deputy Secretary of State, the Select Board does not have authority to do a recount of the vote and the evidence we have does not point to a change in the result if we did,” the press release stated. 

The Appleton Select Board will work with the Town Clerk to ensure a program validation process is in place and properly executed for future elections.

“The Select Board wants to reassure the people of the Town of Appleton that we hold their right to vote and to have their votes counted as our most important duty and will take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that these processes are done correctly,” the release stated. 

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