Let the games begin! :frown1:The local CBS and NBC affiliates in Atlanta reported it as 19,000 flawed ballots. Either way the fact they must be corrected by hand does not bode well. I knew when I saw Naughty's thread yesterday that it was just the beginning. This is bad, very bad. It's gonna be like election 2000 all over again. 10,000 absentee ballots in Gwinnett are flawed Votes will have to be transferred to new ballots By MARY LOU PICKEL, MARCUS K. GARNER The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Thursday, October 23, 2008 Gwinnett County elections officials will have to hand-copy votes from at least 10,000 absentee ballots onto new ballots that can be read by a machine. The original ballots, designed to be filled out by hand, are flawed because of a printing error. The circle beside the candidates name is too thick and somewhat misshapen, and consequently an optical scanning machine wont be able to read the votes on Election Day. The county discovered the problem last week during routine testing. Gwinnett had already mailed out 19,700 flawed ballots before it realized the problem. Of those, 10,000 have already been marked and sent back by voters, said Lynn Ledford director of Voter Registration and Elections for Gwinnett County. The printing mistake was not apparent to the naked eye, Ledford said. The elections office will now have to transfer the votes from those 10,000 ballots onto new ballots so an optical scanning machine can read them, Ledford said. If more of the flawed ballots come back, that number will increase. County spokesman Joe Sorenson said correcting the errors could be complicated. [Election workers] are going to have to take the bad ballots, take a look at what each choice is, and mark that choice for the second ballot, Sorenson said. There will be two sets of eyes on each ballot. From 200 to 300 election workers will be dedicated to this process, he said. Ive got to assume were going to have to hire more people, said Sorenson, who didnt know the anticipated cost for fixing the issue. But thats only part of countys concern. Security is another issue. Its going to be a sequestered process, he said. Those election workers will not be able to leave or have contact with other people during the process. He said those workers wont be able to have phones, recording equipment or access to any other media, among other things. And sheriffs deputies will be assigned to maintain the integrity of the votes, along with party auditors. Sorenson said he expects the process to be completed by the time the rest of the votes are tallied at the end of Election Day. Its very unfortunate that this issue had not been caught before-hand, said Susan Somach of Atlanta, a volunteer with Election Protection, a nonpartisan voter education and watch dog group. Somach said she hopes the vote transferring process is done accurately. Ledford assured that each ballot will be numbered sequentially and accounted for. Also, voter anonymity will be preserved because absentee ballots come in two envelopes one with the persons name and another containing the vote. The envelopes are handled by two different workers so that one person cannot determine how someone voted. The Secretary of States office and both political parties have been notified, Ledford said. Somach expects that political parties and candidate representatives will want to observe the vote-transferring process to ensure its accuracy and transparency. Ledford said registrars dont have to test their absentee ballots until three days before an election. She did so several weeks in advance. The county started mailing out corrected absentee ballots Monday to voters who had not yet received them.