Error leads to confusion over write-in vote total in Ward 5 race

BallotO’FALLON – An apparent error entering in write-in vote total information led to confusion in the race for Ward 5 alderman following Tuesday’s election.

Alderman Chris Hursey reported on his Facebook page on Wednesday evening that the vote total in his precinct, Caseyville 18, reported no write-in votes in his race. Hursey ran as a write-in after his petitions were challenged and a St. Clair County judge removed him from the ballot.

“I know that I voted for myself, spelled my name correctly, and filled in the bubble for “Write-in”, I know that others were texting, calling, and e-mailing me all day yesterday stating that [they] voted for me,” Hursey stated in his Facebook post, showing a screenshot of the County Clerk’s website showing no write-in votes in Caseyville 18.

After checking with County Clerk Tom Holbrook, the problem was traced back to a user error when entering the vote totals. Write-in votes are tabulated by hand by election judges and then entered onto a spreadsheet. According to Holbrook, the totals for Caseyville 18 were accidentally entered into the section for Caseyville 19.

“The numbers were right, they were just entered on the incorrect line,” said Holbrook.

After making the adjustments, Chris Hursey received 75 votes in Caseyville 18. The error also affected the city’s race for Treasurer. David Hursey received 52 votes, Kristie Vetri received ten, and Mary Miller received one.

Holbrook said the error would have eventually have been caught when the county performs its final vote canvas in mid-April, as Caseyville 19 had no O’Fallon races taking place within it.

Hursey said that while he accepts that the error doesn’t change the election results, he wants the record to be correct.

Andrew Lopinot won the race against Hursey for the two-year unexpired alderman position in Ward 5 on Tuesday.

A precinct level breakdown of the vote for Ward 5…

Caseyville 2: Lopinot – 107, Hursey – 38
Caseyville 12: Lopinot – 35, Hursey – 16
Caseyville 18: Lopinot – 51, Hursey – 75
Caseyville 25: Lopinot – 52, Hursey – 5
Caseyville 26: Lopinot – 9, Hursey – 0