Milwaukee County Board write-in votes discrepancy

New problems in counting ballots in the Milwaukee County Board race featuring no names on the ballot.

The competition pits only write-in candidates, eight of them, including the current incumbent and the previous person who held the seat.

The latest challenge is a discrepancy over numbers: among the more than 1,800 write-in votes – a discrepancy of 11.

In Ward 5, the machine tabulator reported 55 write-in votes, but the poll workers who tallied the write-ins on election night reported 57 votes.

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In Ward 6, the machine counted 147 write-in votes, while the poll workers on election night reported 151.

And finally, in Ward 13, the machine counted 30 write-in votes and the poll workers election night counted 35.

"What we suspect was that people wrote in the candidate’s name and didn’t fill in the bubble, so the machine would not read that because the bubble wasn’t filled in but the poll workers, of course, they tally the write-ins," said Milwaukee County Clerk George Christenson.

The county election commissioners voted on Friday, April 8 to hand verify all of these write-in ballots from Wards 5, 6 and 13.

"Under the circumstances here because this is a rather unique election, I think that might be a good idea: just to verify and make sure there are no issues," said Milwaukee County Election Commissioner Tim Posnanski.

The county is requesting those ballots from the city and plans to review them on Monday.

That means we still don't know who won, and we won't know who won this write-in-only race until next week.

It wasn't the first problem for determining who the winner is in the 18th district, representing the northwest part of the county---on the line with Ozaukee and Waukesha Counties.

False online rumors claimed election results from two wards were lost. The results were never lost, but poll books were misplaced, although locked up.

"Nothing has gone astray whatsoever. Essentially, the city of Milwaukee has delivered their election materials for these contests, and they did not have two wards for the 18th, did not have all the election materials that they needed, so they didn’t bring over those two wards, the packet," said Christenson. 

The problem happened on the northwest side at Stuart Elementary School.

The city's election director, Claire Woodall-Vogg, tells FOX6 News poll workers accidentally put the poll books into the machines that are locked up. That delayed getting the books to the county, which then meant the county was delayed in canvassing the write-in only race, but the county did not stop the scheduled canvassing of the other races.

Now, the needed documents are with the county.

"Everything is here and it’s been tallied," Christenson said.

Milwaukee County is canvassing the election, the usual process of double-checking and making sure the math adds up, comparing poll books and results.

"It’s democracy in action. Sometimes that’s not very sexy, but it’s important," Christenson said.

And in an unrelated issue, West Allis found 133 absentee ballots that weren't counted on Election Day.

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