The Jefferson County Election Commission convened a provisional ballot hearing Wednesday evening to determine the fate of Jefferson County resident Dewey O. Baker’s election day choices.
Commission Chair Trey Ashcraft, Commission Secretary Stu Soffer and Commissioner Shara Williams were joined by Election Coordinator Will Fox and Senior Deputy Clerk Katherine Wooldridge.
Baker said that when he went to his polling place Nov. 6 he was told by poll workers that his name was not on the book of eligible voters provided by the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office and that he was asked to fill out a provisional ballot at that time.
“What happened is that a young woman came to vote early at the courthouse and the person processing her asked for the woman’s date of birth after she refused to show a photo ID,” Wooldridge said. “The worker then asked the voter for her birthdate and she told him May 27th. When the worker pulled up the birthdates he accidentally clicked on the May 25th birthday of Mr. Baker and printed out his ballot information.”
Wooldridge said that the worker should have realized that a problem existed when the voter said that the address on the form was not hers but instead he simply changed the address on the form.
“So nobody tried to vote in my name?” Baker asked.
Ashcraft said no.
“It was just a data entry error. The important thing is that the process worked. Your vote will count and her vote will also count,” Ashcraft said.
Soffer pointed out that the system worked as it was intended.
“We apologize for the inconvenience to you but we ask you to take heart that the system worked,” he said.
The commission approved Baker’s provisional ballot and ordered his selections added to the overall Jefferson County vote totals.
After adjourning from the hearing, the commission reconvened 20 minutes later to certify the Nov. 6 general election vote in Jefferson County. Any military ballots received by Friday will be added to the adjusted totals.
Soffer said that under the law, overseas military ballots that arrive up to 10 days after the election must be counted.