ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA) — Nearly 900 votes from a polling location in Rogers failed to be tallied on election night.
“It’s frustrating on our part that we overlooked it on election night,” said Kim Dennison, the Benton County Election Coordinator.
An apologetic Benton County Election Commission admitted its mistake.
“It was overlooked with all of the chaos with what is going on at the end of the night,” Dennison said.
A thumb drive, containing 897 votes from the Cristiano Church in Rogers was missed by workers, and therefore not tallied on election day.
“We are working our hardest to simplify the process and make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Dennison said.
Dennison said the nearly 900 votes won’t sway the unofficial results. But Benton County voters say there’s a much larger problem at hand.
“It’s discouraging and it’s voter suppression,” said Blanca Estevez, a Latino community organizer.
Estevez rallied over 100 high school students to the polls this midterm season. She’s afraid this mistake sends a negative message. She also said this particular precinct, often flooded by Latino voters, has a history of voter suppression.
“We’re afraid of marginalized community members voting and we’re afraid of what the future will look like when it’s inclusive of everyone,” Estevez said.
Dennison said this is an unfortunate mistake but shouldn’t be interpreted as suppression. All votes will be counted and will go towards the official results signed next week.
“We count votes from ‘Dancing With The Stars’ more intensely than we do votes for who is going to run our government! So we need more oversight and more diligence,” Estevez said.
The Benton County Election Commission said it hasn’t had time to review and reconsider the way it counts votes. Officials will wait until after the runoff elections to talk about what can be done better to make sure this never happens again.