Dallas County will count all ballots cast on Super Tuesday, a state court ruled today, correcting a mistake by the county’s top election official that left votes from multiple polling places “unaccounted for.”

Last week, Elections Administrator Toni Pippins-Poole was forced to ask a court to allow the recount of March 3 primary ballots, after she discovered “discrepancies” between the number of voters who checked in at certain polling places and the number of electronic ballots counted from those locations.

Pippins-Poole will re-scan paper ballots from 44 polling place scanner and tabulator machines, to reconcile counting errors stemming from thumb drives inside tabulators.

The recount will take place on Wednesday at the Dallas County Elections Department office.

The Democrat official told the court today that 44 thumb drives were not returned to the central counting station or did not contain the expected number of ballots.

A total of 773 tabulators were used at 454 countywide polling places on Election Day.

Each tabulator contained two thumb drives, a primary and a backup. 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 Dallas County’s Democrat and Republican parties. State law requires county parties to 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.

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