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Voting Machine Error Found. Salas Now Leads Assembly Primary.



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A glitch in a Kings County voting machine changed an Assembly primary.
Until certified results came out today (June 26), Justin Mendes led incumbent Rudy Salas Jr. in the District 32 race covering Kings and Kern counties.
After election night, Mendes, a Republican Hanford city councilman, led Democrat Salas 52%-48%. The numbers held as more votes came in — until the final Kings County results.

“We’ve been in the process of trying to replace those machines. I’m hoping before the next election we might be able to do that.” — Kings County Assessor/Clerk-Recorder Kristine Lee
Now Salas leads by less than one percentage point, or 252 votes.
Mendes and Salas were the only two candidates, so in California’s top-two system both advance to the November general election.

Voting Machine Error

According to Kings County Assessor/Clerk-Recorder Kristine Lee, a voting machine double-counted one run of the ballots through the machine. A run can include multiple precincts. It added the results of the run onto the next run counted. When reviewing results before certifying, Lee noticed that the vote count for one precinct was too high.
“One precinct had way too many votes. It didn’t make sense. So, we re-ran those votes,” Lee said.
The machines, made by Dominion Voting Systems, have been in place since 2000. County officials purchased at least one of the two machines used.
“We’ve been in the process of trying to replace those machines,” Lee said. “I’m hoping before the next election we might be able to do that.”
Lee said this problem has never happened before, but they’ve had other glitches. She is unsure of why the machine failed in this instance.
“The prior results were preliminary, but the results that were updated on the website today are accurate and will be the certified results for Kings County.  This is an example as to why testing subsequent to the elections is so very important,” Lee said.
According to Rob Pyers of the California Target Book, the revision affected a total of 1,854 votes — 1,230 of those for Mendes.

Mendes Not Worried

Mendes said that he isn’t worried about the reversal. He noted that Salas has many advantages like a 22% Democratic voter registration, campaign spending and incumbency.
“The best he can do is 250? I bet he is nervous headed into November,” Mendes said.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email