Some Dallas voters’ Super Tuesday ballots won’t count, unless a judge fixes a mistake by the county’s top election official that left votes from multiple polling places “unaccounted for.”

Dallas County Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole will be in district court today asking a state judge to allow a partial recount of the March 3 primary, due to “counting errors” found days after the ballot count was complete.

In a petition filed Friday night, the Democrat official said she discovered “discrepancies” between the number of voters who checked in at the polls and the number of electronic ballots counted:

“Of the 44 thumb drives, 16 were not received in a timely manner to the Elections Department and 28 were from voting machines not scheduled to be used but were used by volunteer election officials,” Pippins-Poole added in a statement Saturday.

The voting locations and number of votes involved are not yet known.

The county opened 454 countywide polling places on Election Day, some with one precinct scanner/tabulator and some with two.

Each tabulator contains two thumb drives, a primary and a backup. The new voting machines bought by the county last year use the thumb drives to store voters’ ballots electronically inside each precinct’s tabulators. The machines also store the marked paper ballots that voters scan into the tabulator, which are used for audits and recounts.

Pippins-Poole asked the court to order a “recount, re-scan, and re-tabulation of paper votes” that would involve “taking the paper ballots from the ballot boxes of those 44 scanner and tabulator machines and running the paper ballots through the central counting station tabulator.”

Pippins-Poole’s office conducted the primary elections under contracts with each of the county parties.

Dallas County Republican Party Chair Rodney Anderson said he is anxiously awaiting the elections administrator’s explanation of “how this could possibly happen.”

County parties must canvass their elections by March 12.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.