Nearly 900 votes in Northwest Arkansas not counted on election night after thumb drive 'overlooked'

 Ballots are recounted by hand at the Benton County Election Commission office in Rogers.
Ballots are recounted by hand at the Benton County Election Commission office in Rogers.

ROGERS — Benton County election officials failed to count almost 900 votes Tuesday night because of an overlooked thumb drive.

Kim Dennison with the Benton County Election Commission said no election outcomes were affected by the missing votes, which were from the Centro Cristiano de Rogers location on First Street.

The thumb drive was found Wednesday at the bottom of a bag brought in from the vote center location Tuesday night. In all, 897 votes were missed.

"It simply got overlooked," Dennison said Thursday.

She took the election tape, a printout of all votes cast at the location, and manually added the numbers to see if any races changed.

Dennison said Christie Craig, a Democrat running for the Arkansas House District 96 seat held by Rep. Grant Hodges, was looking at precinct by precinct numbers on the state election website and noticed the numbers from that area of Rogers seemed low. Craig contacted the Election Commission.

Hodges beat Craig by 5,349 votes (68 percent) to Craig's 2,496 votes (32 percent). Craig picked up 334 votes at the missed site and Hodges got 252 votes.

In the Ward 1, Position 1 seat on the Rogers City Council, Mandy McDonald Brashear added 292 votes cast for her. She had 6,519 votes (47 percent). Shawn Wright had 155 votes at that site. He was in second place with 2,855 votes (21 percent). Clint Hopper had 76 votes cast for him and Rick Stocker got 66 at that location. Hopper was third and Stocker was fourth in Tuesday's voting.

Nothing can be done with the thumb drive until 4 p.m. Friday when the Election Commission meets in Rogers. Amended preliminary and unofficial votes will then be amended, Dennison said. Election results will be certified next Friday.

Upcoming Events