Discrepancies in unofficial Outagamie County election results explained

Voting booths. (WBAY)
Voting booths. (WBAY)

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) – Some people took to social media after finding discrepancies in some Outagamie County election results. In four out of almost a hundred wards, the number of votes cast in the presidential race were greater than the number of ballots voted, that’s according to unofficial election results.

The Towns of Cicero and Grand Chute along with the Villages of Bear Creek and Hortonville are where unofficial election results showed less ballots cast overall, than the number of total votes in the presidential election. The discrepancies led some to take to social media, questioning what happened, calling for a Hillary Clinton victory.

In a statement to Action 2 News, explaining the discrepancy in Hortonville, Lynn Mischker, the Village Clerk-Treasurer wrote, “In order to give election returns to the Outagamie County Clerk’s office as quickly as possible the Chief Inspector added together the votes from the election machine tapes. An error was made while keying the numbers on the calculator during this process resulting in an incorrect number of votes reported on Election night.

The official process of tallying the votes was completed and rechecked. These vote numbers were recorded and delivered to the Outagamie County Clerk’s office the morning of November 9th. The official tally reflects the accurate votes in the Village.”

According to the Outagamie County Clerk, unlike other counties that have newer voting machines which allow election results to be reported electronically, Outagamie County’s election results from each polling location still need to be manually tabulated and then phoned in by election inspectors, sometimes leading to mistakes.

Clerk Lori O’Bright says, “After the polls are closed, they’re closing out things, they want to wrap it up and sometimes human error in reporting those numbers just occurs.”

That’s why those results are considered unofficial. It’s not until a three board county canvass, is completed, are results verified.

According to O’Bright, “The canvass is conducted by county clerks throughout the state. We are on the partisan ticket so our canvass also has to have a member of the opposite party on the canvass, along with another member. So, it is reviewed as fairly as possible.”

Once the review is complete, the official results are posted. There was a delay in the posting of the officials results in Outagamie County this year, because the County Clerk she had a death in her family. The official results, as of today, have been posted.