Clerk candidate seeks removal of voting machines
BERRYVILLE -- A request for a temporary restraining order that seeks to remove all electronic voting machines was filed Friday by F. Owen Kendrick, a candidate for county clerk.
As of Monday, no action had been taken on that request.
In his petition, Kendrick claims two early voters using an electronic voting machine at the clerk's office in Berryville intended to vote for him when the vote went to his opponent, incumbent County Clerk Jamie Correia.
Those voters, according to affidavits attached to the request, were Circuit Court Judge Gerald Kent Crow and one of his employees, Nadine Holland.
Both stated their votes for Kendrick initially went to Correia, and both said they were able to correct their vote after reviewing their choices.
According to the affidavits, Crow voted May 4, and Holland on Thursday, May 13. Her vote took place late in the day, after 4 p.m., election workers say.
Kendrick filed the request and accompanying affidavits the very next morning, at 9:31 a.m., according to a date and time stamp affixed to the document by a Western District courthouse clerk.
Kendrick, in his civil filing that names Correia and members of the Carroll County Election Commission, claims there was machine tampering "as to cause the machine to mis-record the actual votes cast."
He requested the court issue a temporary restraining order to remove all electronic voting machines from both Berryville and Eureka Springs clerk's offices and to secure those with the sheriff, to nullify all ballots cast prior to the order being served.
As of Monday morning, neither Correia nor any of the members of the election commission had received official notification of the request that was filed at the Western District Courthouse.
According to election officials, public testing of the machines took place prior to the start of early voting, and there are fail-safe systems in place to assure accurate vote counts.
They say voters using the electronic machines are asked twice to "confirm" their vote before it is tabulated.
They can review their choices multiple times before hitting the final "confirm" button that records the vote.
In addition, all actions on a machine are recorded -- date and time-stamped, four separate ways: on paper, much like a grocery store receipt; on the flashcard; on the Personal Electronic Ballot; and on an internal computer.
Election Commission Chairman Levi Phillips said early voting and absentee voting is handled by the clerk's office.
He said no one at the clerk's office or any commission member were aware there were complaints.
"I stand by the system," Phillips said.
"I have full confidence in the accuracy of the system. The integrity of Carroll County elections will prevail," he added.